Friday, March 30, 2007

Southwestern Chinese Food

One of the perks of having a Dad who is retired (from teaching at least) is that he and I have been able to eat lunch together frequently in the last few weeks.

Today we tackled the pool. A project that is tough because his back yard has two beautiful shade trees that, for some weird reason, shed their leaves in the spring. Added to this problem was the blustery days we had on Monday and Tuesday. Wind storms in the desert are not so fun. When things are so dry it just whips dirt into the air...and the leaves and dust into the pool.

So my Dad and I were outside scooping and brushing and vacuuming the leaves and dirt that accumulated over the week. We finished around noon and decided that we would go get a bite to eat. So we loaded up and he took me to a Chinese buffet, where he enjoys their Vietnamese soup and I could get some noodles and veggies.

The buffet was gigantic. It had everything you could possibly imagine. Beef Broccoli, stir fry bean curd, pot stickers, sweet and sour chicken, soba noodles and veggies, wonton soup, crab puffs, eggrolls and... refried beans.

Yes, you can be sure that you are in the southwest when you go to the biggest Chinese buffet west of the Mississippi and find refried beans.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I am blogging from my mothers trio phone. I am certainly not meant to own one because I would never get off the internet! the only problem is that I don't know how to make capital letters. currently we are on our way down town to visit our hair stylist because her roots and my eye brows are screaming for attention. la vida dulce!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Always Check the Pockets

In the nine years that I have been washing my son's laundry I have pulled many things out of his pockets.

There was the time that he raided our penny jar and filled every pocket up with a handful of pennies. It may not sound like a lot, but have you seen the amount of pockets that boys pants can wield these days?

Then there was the time that he was collecting bottle caps. Any bottle caps. Since our shopping list doesn't always contain items that have bottle caps that meant he would find them on the ground at the park, or worse, out of a disgusting garbage can. I shouted with great delight when he finally outgrew the bottle cap phase. He then went directly to rocks.

When he was a baby I used to have to shut the laundry room door because all those little snaps on his onesies and baby pajamas would clack and make a fairly large racket. Who knew that this was to prepare me for the day when there would be a two pound boulder that would sound like a large man with a baseball bat had gotten caught in the dryer.

Then he started school.

Crayons. Crayons became the bane of my life. Why? Because crayons in the dryer are an ugly, ugly thing. We had two incidences when this happened. We call them the Orange Incident and the Blue Incident. This is when I learned that no amount of pleading, begging or shouting was going to convince him to empty his own pockets. For my son, there are simply other things to think about. He just doesn't think to himself: "Oh! I better remove that orange crayon I stuffed in my pocket today because it might ruin my mom's brand new Anne Taylor jeans." But I am not bitter or anything.
This was the day when I got smart! And realized that his laundry must always be done separately.

From tissues to candy to empty bullet shells.

From sticks to wrappers to those awful stick-to-the-wall plastic lizards.

When it came out of my sweet boys' pockets I thought I had seen it all.

I was proven wrong this week when I pulled out a fork.

Yes, the fork pictured above.

It isn't my fork. My forks are packed up and are in storage somewhere.

It isn't my mothers fork.

So I asked him. Where in the world did you get that fork?

He looked at me with excitement in his eyes and said that he had been walking around the playground at school and had found it out on the field.

And, of course, put it in his pocket.

Tell me. What have you found in your child's laundry?
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Snow Clouds

I know this blog isn't weather related. But how could I post without mentioning that it is 58 degrees right this very minute with a snow advisory until 5pm!!!

(That is so worth three exclamation marks.)

After the temps hung in the 90's all last week this cold front reminds me of Texas weather. When we lived there you could have 85 degrees on a Monday afternoon and wake up Tuesday morning to ice so thick the city shuts down. And I am not exaggerating.

In about 15 minutes I will walk two blocks down the street to pick up the kids, I am seriously contemplating taking the car.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

6% Humidity

OK, so i live in a place that is dry. Very, very dry. The humidity in the last week has been at 6%. So dry that if you don't use lotion and moisturizer and lip balm you will simply dry up and blow away.

But can I tell you that I love 'dry'?

Because, dry weather = great hair.

I love the hair days I am having here. However, today it is overcast and it's threatening to rain. The humidity is at 32%. I could have told you that without looking at the forecast because today my hair is misbehavin'. We desperately need the rain though (and it is so pleasant out) so I won't complain.

I began to realize that maybe I was getting a little caught up in my hair vanity when I was reading from 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul the apostle is talking about the unity of believers as members of Christ's body. The chapter goes on to talk about how all members of the body are useful. Then Paul tries to help Christians understand this concept by using an example of the human body which has lots of parts working for one purpose. I was reading from The Message translation to get a different prospective and to try to understand. It ends with a question that made me laugh...only because I had to talk myself into the right answer. Here is what I read:

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher.
If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair? that's a tough question!

I figure, somebody's got to be the full bodied hair.

Anyway, all jokes aside, the storms are brewing here and I can hear the thunder and rain outside.

There is something special about rain in the desert. Rain doesn't happen here often, but that's not the only reason it's amazing. It's special because things come to life when given a drink of water. There's a unique smell and refreshment to the air, and the birds still sing because they are happy to rinse off the dust.

So today I'll forgo full bodied hair, cause rain in the desert is worth it.

La Vida Dulce

The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen

Isaiah 43:20 (NIV)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Arizona Sunset

And if what was fading away came with glory,
how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
2 Cor. 3:11
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

No Pinching Here

Happy Top O' the Mornin' To Ya!

It's a beautiful St. Patty's Day. I like to tell you that we ate Green Eggs and Ham or Lucky Charms for breakfast but we didn't.

We just put a big 'ole green bow in The Girls's hair and called it a day. The Boy is wearing his camo's and I can't wait for him and his Dad to get back from their hike so I can see if The Sweet Man of Mine is wearing Green. I'll take any reason to give him a "love" pinch!

La Vida Dulce
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Friday, March 16, 2007

A Desert Dog's Life

Here she is! The Pampered Pooch.
She really likes her hair cut.
I know, cuz she told me.
And everyone else likes it too, because her hairs aren't all over the place.

Kona did express her concern that her ears do not match.
One is much floppier than the other.

But we love her anyway.

The little white dog asked that we not show his face in order to keep his anonymity.
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Arizona Morning

Random Question: March

This was taken outside my parents home yesterday morning around 7:45. We were getting ready to walk the kids to school when this hot air balloon caught my attention. The mornings here are cool...perfect hot air balloon weather.

As I type I am finally hooked up to the Internet on my own trusty computer. Actually it's not that trusty, but it has everything on it that I use in my day to day life so I am glad that it is up and running again.

We are establishing some routine. Which I am enjoying. Next week will be another week of "newness" as The Mister starts work. It has been nice to have him around although this new schedule makes the day go quickly. The kids get out of school here almost two hours earlier than in NC. but they also start earlier too. This is good for a couple reasons: 1. I am an early person and enjoy getting up and out early. and 2. It allows for school to be over before the heat of the afternoon gets too intense.

I feel a bit out of touch with the rest of the world. I haven't watched or read the news. I haven't really had the chance to write/call or update anyone and to make matters worse the time change just made calling to the east coast a little trickier! This is why I like order in a day! Then I know when I can make time for phone calls and important things! Routine is great! It's establishing routine that's hard work!

Change is tough, even when it's good change and I am trying to get the kids and The Mister settled and established into some semblance of order...then I will be back to normal (whatever that is)...until I move outta here and into our own home. Of course, we aren't sure when that will be.

Living in a household with 4 adults, 2 children and 2 dogs is going well. It's very, very busy here. But we all seem to be handling it well. Someone out there is praying. Keep it up. It's all good, but honestly we have some serious issues...Today we ran out of Orange Juice...and we are a house divided, half of us like pulp, the other half think we should just eat the orange if we like that much pulp. And then there is the issue with laundry...why is there always so much dang laundry....oh wait...never mind, I brought that issue with me. Seems to follow me every where I go.

We also had a horrible problem with dog hair. It seems that Australian Shepherds shed more when the temperatures in March are over 85. Who knew a dog could shed so much? Especially one from Australia. Isn't it supposed to be hot there? Today Kona went to the Doggy Salon and requested a hair cut just like Austin's. I will tell you that Austin wears it better but Kona is pretty to come.

Anyway, things on the home front are going well.

Oh! I haven't done a Random Question for March. So here it goes:

Have you ever been for a ride in a hot air balloon? When and where?
If not, would you if you ever got the chance?
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pictures from the week

First Ballet Recital
Mia Takes a Bow
Great Granda Maude
The First Day of School...Again
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Monday, March 12, 2007

First Day....Again

We made it through the first day of school. If there is anything worse than the first day of's doing it twice. The second time right in the middle of the year. When there is absolutely no communication and you have no idea what is going on.

But I will try to start this post with a bit of positivity...lets see...

I joined the gym today at a place that my brother and his wife have been going to for a couple of years. I have gone as a visitor before and I do like it. Today, after not working out for almost 10 days I went to a class that was called BODY ATTACK.

That should have been my first clue. Basically, I am having troubles moving anything put my fingers at this point. And I am going back for more tomorrow.

It has only been six days since we arrived in the desert and I have already melted my favorite stick of Chapstick in the car. I have got to get back to being "heat" savvy.

Oh! I keep forgetting to mention that this weekend I experienced one of the greatest perks of living in Arizona...We don't participate in Daylight Savings Time (DST).

We've got plenty of high heat daylight thank you very much.

Well, speaking of's time to go to bed.
Until next time...

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Well, we made it. After five long days in two cars, with 2 kids, and enough clothing to be comfortable with all climates we might encounter (not to mention the many visits to public bathrooms), we have arrived in the desert... just in time for the beginning of summer. Today it was in the 80's with the promise of low 90's this weekend.

Truly, the drive across the country was amazing. It was great to see the greatest country up close and personal. And now I can put on my resume: Traveled by car through all states in the Southern USA...solo. Although I wasn't alone. The Mister was behind me that whole time...making sure that my cruise control was set to a speed that would keep me out of trouble!

I have gotten a bit settled since I arrived 48 hours ago. I am systematically trying to accomplish things according to priority. I am trying to take things one thing at a time so that i don't get overwhelmed. I have gotten an AZ drivers license, registered my kids in school, visited the local Target, Costco and Starbucks, to be sure they are all convenient and safe. And, most importantly I got my hair cut and colored which was a task that I seriously considered placing at #1 on the list. I was on the verge of a major hair crises.

As a side note, I did feel slightly weird when I drove through the Starbucks line for my hot Cinnamon Dolce Latte and then drove off in my car with the air conditioner on...but such is the life when you live in the desert.

We spent this morning touring and meeting the kids and teachers at the new school. I am very excited for Austin and Grace. I am certain that they will feel welcome and continue to learn as much as they did NC. They start on Monday.

I have many pictures of our travels from across the country so I will try to post soon. I just wanted to sign on real quick and let you know that we are here and doing well. For those of you that were praying and wishing us well on our journey we thank you so much. Things are good and we look forward to this next adventure in our lives! And of, course, it will all be here on the blog!

La Vida Dulce!

PS: There are some of you back home in NC that were on our postcard list. They are on the way!!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hello From New Mexico

We have had a good couple of days. It feels like we left North Carolina weeks ago!

Yesterday we visited the OKC Zoo and that was fun. The weather was beautiful!

Today we will visit Albuquerque and see what we can find there.

Tomorrow we will arrive in the new, but old, city we will call home!

La Vida Dulce!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Adventure Begins

It's early and I am in the hotel business office.

Things have been going well. The weather has been good, although yesterday it was very, very windy which made for some tough driving.

Last night we ended up in Nashville and planned to stay today to visit the zoo. But have decided to travel on as the weather is predicted to be very cold. We are going to try to get more west before we stop and do something fun with the kids. It's great to see the country as we drive.

I can't type long as the kids and The Mister are awaiting my return on "researching" fun kid things in the states ahead, but I wanted to tell you a bit about our adventure yesterday. Some of you know that I have a lead foot that has earned itself a speeding ticket in each town we have lived in the past 10 years. So my one and only personal goal was to not get a ticket before we left North Carolina.

Well, before were even 3 hours away from our town I got pulled over by the sheriff!!!

But I REALLY wasn't speeding!

I have a frame (put on by the car dealership) around my license plate, and apparently that's against the law. I got a warning for "failure to properly display my license plate."

So I did manage to get out of the state without a ticket but not without a warning, and a humble reminder that I better behave!

OK...I have to run. I wish I could write about our last night in NC. It will be a memory that will be precious to me for a lifetime. I will be sure to write more later!

Until then,

La Vida Dulce (from Nashville!)

Thursday, March 01, 2007



I have just tucked the kids into bed. Or I should say, I have made them a nest of blankets and pillows on the floor of my bedroom. They are currently watching a movie on the portable DVD while The Mister studies and I try to get in some blogging before the internet is cut off.

Today was a tough day as my tender hearted children said goodbye to their teachers and friends at school. I want to write volumes about the teachers and the fine educators at our little school, but nothing I can write describes exactly how I feel, so for now I hope they know how much I appreciate them.

I am tired. Although I have not done much in the last 48 hours but watch strangers open up my cupboards and closets and, yes, the drawers i keep my "drawers" in...which is totally weird, no matter how many times you have experienced it.

It's always very strange to live and sleep in a house that is filled with boxes. Boxes that make up your life. I always get pensive at this we really need all this stuff?

Of course this morning when I went to blow dry my hair the answer was a resounding "Yes"!

I spent all of today wanting to expose my hair insecurities by telling everyone the reason my hair looked so bad was because the movers packed my dryer. I managed to have some self control and only told one person. I told her partially because her hair looked so good, and I was feeling envious, but mostly because I am certain she understands the necessity of good hair.

Not only did i have to air dry (I ended up pulling it back into a "style" for the next week) but my roots are completely out of control. It just isn't right. I did however manage to "tame the brows" with a good waxing. So at least I will be able to see while I drive across the country.

On to things less hair related.

The update on Kona is that she and the White Haired Terrier have now become friends. Mom was a bit worried and I have to say I was worried about her. She called me last night to tell me that if the dogs (a.k.a. Kona) couldn't be nice to each other then she knew someone (who knew someone) who knows a specialist, that could teach the dogs to give the world a Coke and sing in har-mo-ny. But then when my Mom called this morning all was right in the world and the "kids" were wrestling and playing as if they had been long lost litter mates.

Seriously I am grateful for my Mom's care (and concern) for our pet and I am glad that my (sometimes not so) sweet, needy, dog is getting along just fine now with her new doggy friend...or would that be her doggy uncle? Oh y'all! it's getting late...and I am starting to scare myself.

Moving on....

This may be my last post for a couple days as we make our journey west. I hope to update and possibly get some pictures posted if we can get internet access as we travel.

Until then...
La Vida Dulce!