A few weeks ago one of the pastors at our church approached Raylo.
Pastor: Raylo, would you consider going on a trip with us to Haiti?
Raylo: Nope. But I’ll send my wife.
He told me that night over dinner and I was ecstatic. He’s been overseas twice since we moved back to the States. I haven’t been anywhere. Seriously, this was better than receiving 3 dozen roses. I asked him about the kids. I don’t want to just expect others to drop everything & take care of him. But he told me that he was so willing for me to go that he’d take his vacation days to watch them. Some of our family members are planning to come for part of the time, but even if that doesn’t work out and they can’t do it, he said he would. Seriously— I have the best hubby ever.
I’ve been reading a blog called Sit a Spell for several months. It’s about a family from Texas who has moved to Hatiti to help with the rebuilding. (The mom & pop of that family were actually at Texas A&M at the same time I was, but I don’t think I ever met them. Crazy small world.) They’re back in the States now, but their pictures and stories have really affected me. Their blog plus the ongoing need for rebuilding and aid has made me think of Haiti quite often. And now I’m getting to go.
My level of excitement over going on a 10 day trip to a 3rd world devastated country either confirms that I’m a lunatic or it means I must reeeeeeelly need a vacation. I think it’s the lunatic part.
So, you know it’s time for mab to do laundry when the only decent thing she has left to wear out of the house is a skirt…
But, although I have been washing several loads every day for the past few days, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Where were all of these dirty clothes coming from? But today I figured it out. Peanut and Bean have learned where the cup towels and dish cloths are kept in the kitchen. If they want to wipe something up (even something imaginary), they get one out, take a brief and useless swipe at it, and then throw the towel into the laundry room. You would think that this means I have a very clean kitchen. Trust me: The few spills and spots they manage to actually get up pale in comparison to the wake of mess and debris that the girls leave behind them.
Bean also loves to pull out several wardrobe options. But, instead of putting up what she has decided not to wear, she throws them in with her clean clothes. This does not mean she puts them in the hamper. Oh, no. She just throws them in a pile in her toybox. Because apparently that’s where toys, dirty clothes, & clean clothes all go to hang out.
The clothes I have managed to wash (which somehow didn’t include a single pair of jeans, shorts, or capris for myself…???) are in baskets everywhere. I put away what I can, but it’s been such a week. And I was still so puzzled about all of my clothes… where were they?
Then, after dinner tonight, RayRay tried to put his hands in his pockets. He started looking closely at his shorts and pulling at the waistband. Then he looked at me with a puzzled look and said “Are these your shorts?” Yup. Mine. They had been put in his closet. And he wore them for about an hour before he noticed that he had on girl shorts.
All while I had to wear a stupid skirt because I could find nothing else.
The laundry is plotting against me…..
My sweet hubby’s birthday was today. He wanted to go to his favorite restaurant to eat. But, since he’s a wonderful Daddy, he decided to celebrate his birthday somewhere else.
Somewhere with horses….
And a mini roller coaster….
And air hockey….
It takes a good man to go to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday and then give all of the tickets he won at Sea Wolf to his daughters so they can get plastic rings and bracelets and little boxes of Nerds.
Happy birthday, Raylo!
(P.S. In writing this I tried to find a pic of Ray Ray that isn’t from graduation. There were a few that Beanie took that were less than flattering. There were some that were fuzzy. There were some from Christmas morning where he was fuzzy. In short, I have realized that I don’t take enough pics of my sweet hubby. So, Ray², be warned…. I’ll be following you around for the next few days with the camera. You can tell people I’m your paparazzi.)
In the moving chaos I neglected to brag on Raylo for finishing up his second masters degree. This was a lot tougher this go-round. Last time I was his wealthy teacher sugar-mama. This time he managed to get uh-ma-zing grades while taking a full load (and sometimes more) plus working about 15 hours a week as a counseling intern & another 20 – 25 hours a week as a hospice chaplain. But, he never neglected the family. Neglected sleep? You bet. But never us. You can tell in the picture above how much Beanie loves loves loves her Daddy. Peanut is pretty fond of him, too. Me? I’m proud enough to bust my buttons.
When he got back from the graduation ceremony, he was still in his robes. A neighbor kid saw him and looked up in wonder. Raylo bent down and said “Look! I’m a wizard!”
Gosh, I love that guy.
We’ve now hit 11 years of marriage. I’ll be keeping him.
Happy anniversary, Raylo!
I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time on the computer since the beginning of the year. Since it’s obviously not time spent on my poor, neglected little bloggy, then what have I been up to?
I’m looking for a house.
This lovely and utilitarian 950 square foot campus housing has been, well, utilitarian for the 4 of us and my massive quantities of fabric + crafty crap. There are some features about this home that I have truly enjoyed — I have a laundry room for the first time in years (previously my washer was in my bathroom or kitchen). I have two bathrooms. My last one was so small you could sit on the pot, turn on the shower, turn on the sink, put a load in the washer, and reorganize the cabinet — at the same time. While it allowed for maximum efficiency during bathroom business, it was most obviously designed by a very small drunken man. Any human of normal size and normal sobriety would never design the bathroom that way. So…. I’ve been grateful for two not-terribly-tiny bathrooms. But, the biggest blessing about this place has most definitely been the neighbors. The school puts families with young kids (mostly) in our complex, so we don’t have very far to go to visit my friends and my girls’ friends. We constantly eat in each others’ homes, visit, drop by, hang out, and then head out back to the field to play all together.
But, my local neighbor lovelies, as much as I’ve enjoyed your company, my toes need to stretch out! So, with my hubby’s impending graduation in May (can I get a hallelujah!) we are moving to more spacious digs.
Now, I’m one of those arrogant, proud Texans who believes that no where on earth is fit to live besides Texas. However, the job my hubs has is not in The Promised Land. And, after getting over my initial shock that we will raise our girls in a place where the Lone Star flag does not wave, I’ve gotten pretty excited about this chance. He has a great new job. He’ll be doing family counseling & also working with an emergency children’s shelter. If a kid is removed from their home because of abuse or other family issues, they are first taken to this shelter. While there, the state figures out if they can be returned to the family, placed in foster care, or taken to the state children’s home. He’s excited about the job and we’re excited about the town.
And I can always put a big, honkin’, arrogant, proud Texan flags on our roof.
In true mabBlab giving-everything-a-silly-nickname-and-not-using-the-real-name-because-it’s-the-closest-I’ll-ever-get-to-being-a-spy fashion, I hereby dub my future town as Jaybro. It’s a smallish city of about 65,000. They’ve actually got really great schools, lots of family activities, and a Hobby Lobby. There are 3 fabric stores. (yay!) But one is Hancocks (okay!), and the two private quilt shops sell stuff that your Great Aunt Ethel would buy if she was on acid or had completely lost her vision (boo!). So, I will definitely continue buying most of my fabric stash online!
(Latest crush: Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller….)
So, this is the news with us. I have a camera card full of pictures, but it’s late and that card is sitting on the microwave across the room. (Did I ever mention that my kitchen here is so small that our portable dishwasher & microwave are actually in the living room?) I’m too lazy to get up and get it. But, I know y’all love me in my laziness. Or, you’ve quit reading this post by now.
Anyway, seriously stick with me. This is post #598 (whaaaa..?) and I am planning a giveaway for post #600. I’ll try to get that written before July. Hah!
We’ll head up to Jaybro next Saturday to look at all of the houses. I am a stinkin’ nervous wreck. When we bought our first house as young newlyweds, it took me 3 months to find the right one. This time, we’ll have 3 days. My realtor will need a vacation after we leave because I have a list of a billion houses to see!
Here’s my favorite:
The listing says: “This Greek Revival home makes a stunning impression on the 11th green of Big Fancy Pants Country Club Golf Course. This symmetrical designed home features five levels, lighted columns and two tiers of wrap-around verandas. Orderly interior plans feature central hallways flanked by formal rooms flooded with sunlight. Too many amenities to list, but some outstanding include game room w/full kitchen, media room, storage room, fitness room, hearth room, hobby room and office on the 5th level with spectacular views.”
Here’s that 5th level spectacular view:
But….. since the monthly payments on this house are more than we’ll bring home in a month, I either need to get crackin’ on my Etsy shop or I need to see if we can buy only 1 floor of this home….
Overheard tonight as RayRay was telling Beanie the Christmas story at bedtime:
RR: And then the baby was born and they named him Jesus.
Beanie: NO! Pookie! They named him Pookie!
Ahem. I don’t know about you guys, but we will be spending tomorrow explaining the real meaning of Christmas! We’ll be telling our kids and reminding one another that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ — and with His birth we celebrate the amazing love, grace, and redemption that came from His life and then His death and resurrection.
I’ll be listening to my all time favorite Christmas CD, Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson. I wrote about my love for this CD back in 2006 and my high opinion still has not wavered. It’s the entire Christmas story — all the way from Genesis. God never intended the advent to be the whole story — it’s a fabulous piece in the middle. Just when people think it can’t get worse and God has been silent for 400 years while the Romans take over and bring oppression — BAM! — enter the protagonist! But, he’s not a mighty warrior. He’s a baby. Born to a teenager. In a barn. Rather than taking care of the temporal suppressor and tyrant that was Rome, His life/death/resurrection here on earth took care of the eternal suppressor and tyrant that is sin, injustice, hatred, and loneliness.
And His name was not Pookie.
May your day be full of blessings and peace!
The night of the kek-kek cafeteria incident, we had a Meet-and-Greet social for my hubby’s department here on campus. I decided to bring cookies.
As I pulled the bag of cookie mix out of the pantry, I noticed an alternate recipe:
Yummy! And, bars are always easy to transport right in my pan that has a transporty lid.
Now, to insure the success of any recipe, you must:
1) Follow the directions (at least mostly). If it says to let the cookies cool before spreading the chocolate, please do that. If it says to make sure the chocolate is really melty before you spread it, please make sure it’s hot and melty. Don’t assume that the heat of the uncooled cookies will melt the un-melty chocolate.
2) Try not to have a toddler throwing a fit and refusing to take her nap although she’s clearly so tired she’s out of her mind. Also, try not to do this right after the cafeteria kek-kek lunch episode where her younger sister made you crazy.
I have decided to call this recipe Le Puup aux les Dirts. That’s my fake french way of saying “Poop on Dirt.” You could alternately call them Dog Poo Delights or CaCa Cookies. (Thanks to Spider Woman for that last one.)
Let’s do a side-by-side analysis of this recipe:
Needless to say, I sent Ray Ray a text and insisted that he pick up cookies on the way home.
The good news: My hub is so grossed out by the appearance that he won’t eat them. While they may look disgusting, they taste great. Viva Le Puup!
Here’s my only question: Should I turn in this recipe to The Pioneer Woman, Martha Stewart, or Rachael Ray?