Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Ten Things I Did As A Teenager, But If I Did Now, People Would Think I Was Crazy...

A few weeks ago my sixteen year old daughter helped me put together a post Kids These Days, on how easy teenagers have it these days with all the technological advancements.  We laughed about the crazy things teenagers do, but would never do as an adult, and this post was born...

We tried to come up with a catchy title, but couldn't, so I present to you:

Top Ten Things I Did As A Teenager, But If I Did Now, People Would Think I Was Crazy...

10.  Dress alike:  Imagine calling up your friend, "Hey, what are you wearing to that PTA Meeting today?  We should both wear our Ann Taylor sweaters."  It would be weird, right?  But, in high school, not so weird.

9.  Listen to the same song over and over:  The next time you're in the car with your friend, just keep hitting repeat on that Michael Buble CD and see if anyone thinks it's odd.  Remember back in the day rewinding your Mariah Carey tape over and over until you had the words down perfectly...no one thought that was odd.

8.  Invite your friends over to watch movies....laying on the floor:  Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town, but our Saturday nights consisted of watching movies.  We might cram sixteen people in one living room just to watch Billy Madison for the ninth time.  We would never expect our friends now days to lay on the floor and watch a movie.  At our age, someone would break a hip.

7.  Pay for dinner in coins:  If I had a dollar for every time my friends and I raided my dad's coin stash in high school and went to Pizza Hut to pay for our pizza in dimes....well, I wouldn't have had to pay for the pizza in coins.  While I am still known to break out the change at Sonic, because who wants to use their debit card for $1.17, I would think my friends might give me the side eye if I paid for my Olive Garden dinner in quarters.

6.  Cruising:  Let me just say, we still cruise it's just different these days.  Back in the day, we used a whole tank of gas to cruise the neighborhood over and over to see where everyone was and what was going on in Small Town, Texas.  Now, my cruising happens the second Tuesday of the month around 9:00.  You see, that's when Bunco ends...and I cruise by my own house over and over until my kids bedroom light is off.  You see, Mama isn't going home from Bunco until she knows all her babies have been put to bed.  Can I get an A-men, Bunco Friends?  My, my, how cruising has changed.

5.  Prank call:  A prank call back in the day meant you were well-liked.  Obviously, this was before caller ID and even cell phones.  Can you even imagine, having the extra time now to prank call your friends?  I can barely even remember to send Christmas cards to them!

4.  Writing letters to your friends:  Can you imagine how awkward it would be in the carpool line, if you held a perfectly folded letter out the window for your bestie that you had written her, and then signed LYLAS.  Texting is just so much more efficient.

3.  Borrowing clothes.  My high school bestie and I shared clothes so much I have no idea how we knew what was actually our own.  I can't imagine calling up my friend now and borrowing a T-Shirt, because honestly that was what we were borrowing in high school, not even cute stuff.

2.  Toilet papering:  I wasn't much of a TPer back in the day, but I think I did try it a time or two.  And, like prank calling, it was usually the well-liked kids that got TPed the most.  The next time you make a new friend, think how well it would go over if you covered their trees in cheap (because that was the hardest to clean up) toilet paper the next day.  I don't think you'd be making a friend for life there.

1.  Breaking up with boyfriends:  OK, I hesitated to add this one, but it's a well known joke among my family and friends, so why not include it.  I was notorious in my teen years for breaking up with my boyfriend every summer.  I'm pretty sure the break-up speech went something like, "I don't think I can handle a relationship over the summer....I'm going to be really busy, with, umm, like church camps, family vacations...and ummm....I just really want to focus on hanging out with my friends this summer.  But, hey, we can still, like, um, be friends, and maybe we can get back together in the fall"  I am pretty sure my husband wouldn't go for the idea of having three months out of the year "off" from me every year.  OK, who am I kidding, he would probably jump at that idea.

OK, there you have it Top Ten Things I Did As A Teenager, But If I Did Now People Would Think I Was Crazy!  What's something you did as a teenager you wouldn't do now?

Are you into Top Ten Lists like me?  If so, check out a few of my others...

Top Ten Best Things About Living In A Small Town
Top Ten Crazy Emilyisms
Top Ten Favorite Things at Trader Joe's
Top Ten Topics Country Music Has Covered No Less Than 7,894 Times & If I Never Hear These Words Again It Will Be Too Soon

Have a Terrific Tuesday!


I am linking up with Beth for Tuesday Talk.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is often considered a "holiday" to grill out, kick off summer or score some really good deals at department stores.  Sadly many Americans forget the real reason for the day.  We are able to do the things I mentioned previously, because of the men and women that fought, and still fight, for our country.  Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women that lost their lives for our country.

My favorite Veteran is my granddad.  He is also who I named my son, Jesse, after.  My granddad did not lose his life for our country, but it did forever change him.  My granddad fought in World War II and was a Prisoner of War for nineteen months in Germany.  Let's just think about that for a minute.  For NINETEEN long months, my granddad went to bed (which was made of wood shavings and a burlap bag), wondering if he would see his home country again.  For NINETEEN months, my granddad ate food that caused him digestive probelms for decades later, wondering if he would gather around the dinner table with his family again.  In fact, he lost fifty pounds as a Prisoner of War.  For NINETEEN months, my granddad listened to people talk about him, in a language that he did not understand.  For NINETEEN months, my granddad battled things like frost bite, malaria, and was even unconscious for three days, without any medicines or medical care.  Nineteen months!

My granddad passed away when I was sixteen years old.  I had heard a few stories about his war days, but I never really understood what he had done for me and for our country until I had my own kids.  Part of that was because I was a kid and probably didn't show much interest in history, part of that was because my granddad was a man of few words (completely opposite of that little Jesse we have running around now).

A few days ago, Mark and I were discussing with Jess (four years old), what Memorial Day is, and about the man he was named after.  We told him that we hoped he loved his country as much as my granddad did.  He said, "I don't want to fight for my country,  I want to be a policeman!"  We said, that's fine, you can protect our country here, as a policeman."  Then he said, "And, I may want to be a construction worker."  We said, "That's great, too, you can work to build things for our country."  Honestly, it doesn't matter to me what my children become when they grow up, as long as they are fulfilled.  The fact that they have options and get to choose what they become is greatly due to the fact that the men and women of the military have fought for those freedoms.  I think this is what the Declaration of Independence describes as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

After nineteen months as a P.O.W. my granddad was rescued and flown to San Antonio, Texas to recover.  He married my beautiful grandmother three months later.  In 1995, a few months before his death, they celebrated fifty years of marriage.  Not everyone that serves our country gets to come home.  Today, as you celebrate Memorial Day, remember the men and women that fought for our country, but especially the ones that did not make it home.  Remember their families as they still mourn the empty chair at their dinner table.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

It's the last Wednesday of the month and I am linking up with Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday to share a little about what's going on in our world...


Monday:  Fajitas
Tuesday:  Pepperoni Pizza Chicken and Salad
Wednesday:  Leftover fajitas meat from Monday...probably made into quesadillas
Thursday:  Bacon Chicken Caesar Casserole and Green Beans
Friday:  Whatever I can sweet talk Mark into throwing on the grill.  


As we wrap up another school year, I am reminiscing about what a wonderful year Jess had at preschool, and Kendall had as a sophomore.  

Watching Kendall perform at the Alamodome for the State Band competition was one of my favorite moments from this school year.  She also earned her letter jacket, turned Sweet Sixteen and learned how to drive.  

Jess had a great year of preschool.  He is learning to write his name and pretty much knows something about everything from rectangular prisms to inertia.  I had a blast with him this year on his field trips to the pumpkin patch, trick or treating downtown, visiting the local dog hotel, class parties and watching his performances.  


I am loving grilling season!  First off, I don't grill, so it basically means I get a night off from cooking, BUT it also means my kitchen stays clean and we have less dishes.  The weather has been perfect lately, and the kids enjoy arguing playing outside until bath time.  


We had a fun field trip Monday with my mom to see where dinosaurs are made for zoos and museums.  You can read all about it here.  


I have a doctor's appointment today with a hand specialist that I am dreading.  Without boring you with medical jargon, I have been experiencing some pain in my hands for a while and am finally getting it checked out today.  I am praying it is something super minor.


Vacation Plans!!  We are going to Branson for vacation this year.  The last time we were there Kendall was six years old, so she doesn't remember much about that trip.  Jess and Jentry have never been to an amusement park, I can't wait to see what they think of Silver Dollar City!


Summer, summer, summertime, time to sit back and unwind!  We made our Summer Bucket List and are looking forward to a fun filled summer.  The pool that we are members at will open this weekend, too.  We look forward to many relaxing days catching some rays!


Tonight is the series finale of Nashville.  How did that happen?  That is one of the few shows Mark and I watch together (I'm sorry I just called you out on that, Mark).  I'm sad that it is ending!  It seems like it happened all of the sudden, too, so I'm bummed that the story lines might not get wrapped up neatly.  

I haven't bought many summer things yet, because it hasn't "felt summery" yet, but my mom did buy me these cute sandals for Mother's Day.  That's how blessed my mom is to have me as a daughter...she buys ME a Mother's Day gift.  

Last week I saw these at Target and have been kicking myself for not buying them.  I think there's a good chance I may own these by the end of the week....


On Saturday we are going to the Jimmy Buffett concert with a group of 40 or so friends.  We're looking forward to a fun night out with friends.  Mark and I bought some Jimmy Buffett CD's at Half Price Books a few months ago and have been listening to them to get ready for the big day.  


As I mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to crossing things off of our Summer Bucket List!  I'm also looking forward to sleeping in a little later, aftenoons at the pool, fun projects with the kids, and dinners on the patio.  Kendall and I are also excited about watching Big Brother together!!


Tomorrow is a big day around our house!  Kendall is getting an award at the Awards Ceremony at the High School in the morning, and Jess has a promotion ceremony at his preschool tomorrow afternoon.  Jess will officially be on summer vacation after tomorrow, and Kendall will only have a few more days left.  Let the good times roll!

What's up in your world this Wednesday?


Monday, May 23, 2016

Dinosaurs, Shrimp and Pie...Oh My!

I am doing a little bit of a weekend wrap up, on a Tuesday around here today because yesterday was a school holiday, so today is a Monday to us.  I don't typically do weekend wrap-up posts, but this one included a dinosaur siting, so it was definitely blog worthy.  

On Friday, we enjoyed a laid back evening on the back porch.  We are soaking in this beautiful spring-like weather and grilling out every chance we get.  Before long it will be scorching outside. #TexasProbs  My kids are loving this spray paint chalk from the Target Dollar Spot.  If you haven't tried it, grab a couple next time you're there.  

Saturday night, Mark and I had a date night at one of our favorite restaurants, Rick's Chophouse in downtown, McKinney.  You may remember it from my post, You Ask Me What I Like About Texas, DFW Edition.  If you're local...or even semi-local, I highly recommend it.  I have never been disappointed at Rick's.  The food is stellar (you're welcome, Kendall) and the ambiance is perfect.  

I tried my hardest to be a good blogger and take pics of our beautiful dinner.  I snapped these with my iPhone quickly, because I was totally getting the side eye from the snooty couple next to us.  

Mark started off the meal with a tomato and melon salad containing heirloom tomato, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, crispy prosciutto, balsamic, goat cheese puree, red sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  I didn't try it because I have a thing with savory fruit, but he went on and on about how delish it was (and no, he didn't actually use the word delish). 

Those of you that know me well, won't be surprised...I had a Cesar.  I'm not adventurous at all in the salad department.  But, it was an excellent Cesar (and I'm kind of a Cesar connoisseur).  

For his entree, Mark had the sea bass served with roasted garlic whipped potatoes, baby carrots, and a to die for citrus butter.  I absolutely tasted this one and it was amazing!

But, Mark's dinner, was not as good as mine (in my opinion, not Mark's).  If shrimp and grits are on the menu, they will be in my belly.  I think it is safe to say, I don't count carbs on date night.  These shrimp and grits were off the charts!  I am the type of person that orders the same thing over and over at a restaurant.  I usually order the filet at Rick's, so this was a change for me, but I am a changed woman and this will be my go-to Rick's dish from here on out (and, no fellow carb counters, I did not eat that baguette, just the grits).  

On Sunday, we went to church and then went to our sweet friend's house, so the hubbies could watch the Byron Nelson together.  We cooked out, and played a round (or two) of Pie in the Face.  Last time we played it, Jess would not do it, but this time we convinced him (or maybe those cute, little blondes did), but he insisted on wearing my sunglasses, so the whipped cream wouldn't get in his eyes.  To me, this picture looks like a young Hank Williams Jr, playing Pie in the Face...

Monday, was a school holiday (actually it was a bad weather day we did not use in the winter).  Since Kendall was off, my mom took off and we had a fun day together learning how dinosaurs are made.  To those of you that wondered why dinosaurs aren't in the Bible, and if God really made them, I am here to answer that question for you.  They are actually made in a warehouse in Allen, Texas.  There you have it.  Mystery solved!

 Jess' first look at the huge, life like Tyrannosaurus Rex.  

Billings Productions builds realistic dinosaurs and ships them all over the world for exhibits in zoos and museums.  They were amazing!

 He was like a kid in a prehistoric playground.  

At first, Jentry was a little nervous, but then she realized they were like big toys, and she was fine.  

It was interesting to see the people working on different projects, too.  These two men were sculpting the face of a dinosaur.  That's something you don't see everyday!

This gentleman, was repainting a T-Rex.  Apparently their paint lasts approximately five years, since they are generally outdoors for their exhibits.  

This is my Aunt Jerry (with my mom and kids).  Her brother, Larry Billings, was the mastermind behind this business.  He began this business in 2003 because, according to their website, he was "not satisfied with the inferior design and movements of animatronic dinosaurs available in the market, he believed he could build them to look and move more realistically."  And that he did!

Their website also states that Mr. Billings, "most enjoyable part of the business was seeing the joy the animatronic dinosaurs brought to children. For him, it was a perfect way to combine education with entertainment."  He is known for saying, “It's all for the kids.”

This is Sandra, Larry Billings' wife, and President of Billings Productions giving Jess a little parting gift, a replica dinosaur egg.

I think it's safe to say that Jess was thrilled with his souvenir.  I think Mr. Billings would find satisfaction in knowing that his dinosaurs brought great joy to my kids this week.  

Thank you so much Sandra and Aunt Jerry for giving us a special, VIP, tour of Billings Productions.  I have a feeling my kids will be talking about this for a while!

Have a great rest of the week, friends!  I am linking up with Beth today for Tuesday Talk.  She's one of my favorites, check her out!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's Friday, and you know what that means...

Yes, it means I am not cooking tonight, but it also means I am sharing five of my favorite things from this week with you.

Blog Life:  In case you missed it, on Tuesday, I linked up with Shelly to share my Bucket List for the summer.  We have lots of fun things planned...like riding roller coasters, potty training and getting a licensed driver in our house.  Just go ahead and add me to your prayer list.
On Thursday, I linked up with Michelle and shared one of my favorite breakfast casseroles that is hearty, yet low carb and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.  I still have some leftovers in the fridge, excuse me while I go heat up a piece....

Speaking of food, I have another favorite product to share with you.  As much as I am loving my grocery pickup from WalMart (and have a pickup scheduled for later today), I still adore Trader Joe's, too.  A few weeks ago after eating at Pollo Tropical for the first time, I was hooked on their cilantro garlic sauce.  Seriously, I need a milk jug full of that stuff.  I tried to persuade the Pollo Tropical employee to sell me some, but apparently they don't sell the sauce.  Rule #1 of operating a business: everything is for sale.  Later that day I went to Trader Joe's and saw this little beauty in the refrigerator section (near the salads) and hoped for the best.  It's not quite Pollo Tropical, but it is pretty good.  I have added it to quesadillas, fajitas and the Trim Healthy Mama recipe for Cowboy Grub, but it's a salad dressing, so I guess you could do that, too, if lettuce is your thing...

I love writing, but sometimes struggle with it.  When I first started my blog, some of the best advice I got came from Kara at A Kailo Chic Life.  Kara is uber-talented and happens to be from my hometown of Wimberley, Texas.  Kara told me to write like I talk...so that's what I do.  That's why there are too many commas, too many "...'s" and lots of run on sentences in my posts.  This is my blog; my space to share my thoughts.  Melanie Shankle is one of my favorite writers.  I admire her writing style and her personality that comes across in her words.  She just tells it like it is.  Her faith and family are her top priorities.  If you're looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend The Antelope in the Living Room (about marriage), Nobody's Cuter Than You (about friendship), and Sparkly Green Earrings (about motherhood).  If you love Jen Hatmaker, you will love Melanie.  If you don't want to commit to a whole book, she also has a blog, check it out!

I read two blog posts this week that totally spoke to me, and I wanted to share with you.  First off, Michelle's blog is one of my favorite blogs to read.  In this season of my life I am running around like crazy raising kids, trying to have a clean house, manage a few DIY projects every once in a while and get dinner on the table by 6:00.  It can be intimidating in this Pinterest era where everything looks so easy and effortless.  Michelle points out in this post that as styles come and go,we should choose to decorate our home with joy, laughter, gentleness and peace; four timeless traits that will be in style for years to come. 
Second, Brooke really should have addressed this post, "Dear Emily..." because she so spoke to me.  Wives, if you have a tendency to get frustrated with your husbands because they don't do things like you would, this post is for you to read. 

A few random moments from our life:  Jess sang in his spring choir performance at church.  (I have pictures from that night, but since there are other kids in those pictures and I don't know how their parents feel about them being on my blog, I opted for this one.)

There's nothing better than a boy and his dog!

Unless it's a boy and his sister....

Or a girl and her sister...

These kids have amazed me this week.  They have such a love for Jesus.  Whether  it's a discussion with Kendall after church on how she can be a difference maker next year as an upper classman, Jess singing his little heart out in his choir performance, or Jentry's sweet bedtime prayers, they fill my heart with such pride.  I hope the three of them always have this much joy in their lives.

Thank you so much for spending a little bit of your week with me.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend!


I am linking up with the regulars...

P.S. If you purchase a book that I recommended through my Amazon links, I will receive a small commission...then, I'll probably use that commission to buy something...and then blog about it.

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