Monday, January 31, 2011

Never a dull moment...

Over the years you may (or may not) have read my posts about living in the house with these crazy boys. It truly is the looney bin, but Gosh!!! I love these little guys! They add so much fun and excitement to each day. I am constantly entertained.

A couple of crazy things have happened in recent days that have had me reflecting on a few What's Bakin'? classics...

This all leads me to Why I am NEVER on time... Ya know, they pick the most inopportune times to do weird things. It has nothing to do with planning in advance. Trust me. I try! This stuff just happens!!! 

So, we were all showered dressed and ready to walk out the door the other day. I have been giving Fulton more Independence; not nagging for him to hurry up and giving him ample time to be successful in being in charge of himself. The clock was ticking and we were all waiting. I called up to him and asked if he was almost ready. He said he was in the bathroom and would be down in a second. He comes downstairs fully dressed...he had even accessorized!
He had the propeller of the "Subbies" tub toy (found at Kligg's Kite's at the Holiday Market) tangled in his hair! It was dangling from his hair when he came a big blue dread lock!!!!

Here it is up close. I tried my best to unwind it, but no such luck. I ended up cutting it.

Then, the other day as we are getting ready for church, I called to Sam in the den and asked if he was ready. He said "Yes ma'am!" I said, "good job, bud! Thanks for hurrying and being responsible..." And I walked around the corner to find Sam putting on his shoes.
with his pajama pants still on!!!!!!

"Sam!!!!", I said.
"Are you ready?"
"You are? What do you have on?"
He looked down..."Oops."
So off the shoes and PJ pants went. On went the khakis, belt and shoes (again).

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That's all I have to say about that.

That was me in my senior year of high school.

I like to think that I was a nice girl. Actually, I'm pretty darn sure I was a nice girl. I am now in the 35+ category (YIKES!!!) and believe that I am STILL a nice girl.

I realized way back then that we are not all dealt the same hands. Some more fortunate than others. Some prettier than others. Some smarter than others. I'm thinking that I was usually in the "others" category, but very blessed, nonetheless. At the guidance of my parents, I learned that just because you have been dealt a better hand than others does not give you the right to feel superior, let alone BULLY, CRITICISE, BELITTLE, or EMBARRASS those who were not.

Now, I'm sure I had my fair share of high school drama, BUT I can safely say that I was NEVER a "mean girl". Nor, did I fall victim to one of them. But I knew who the "mean girls" were. I remember them quite well. I even remember the "mean girls" older and younger. They are people you never forget. They are the people you can't wait to see what they've become at your high school reunions. And even though you know it's secretly, for a very brief and un-Christian-like moment want to see them bite it in front of everyone. Uh know who I'm talking about. BUT, instead we pray for their hearts to become humbled.

I have recently re-encountered one of those "mean girls". She was a mean girl to someone I know and love very much. She and some of her mean friends (boys and girls) shaped and hurt this person more than you can imagine. As the years have passed, I started seeing more and more of this mean girl. It has become very apparent that some people NEVER change. They might even get worse. 

The jabs that this girl has thrown at me have left me quite taken aback. They were cheap jabs, too, in front of other people. Most of them were regarding things that I own that may be a little worn, tattered, or in her opinion, out-of-style and sometimes my clothing. The more I think about them the more it hurts and the more I wish I had fired back, leaving her equally wounded and embarrassed. But I chose one more time not to stoop and to bite my tongue...and boy! is that hard!!!!

I shared this with Shan. He gave me his usual level-headed response. "Claudia, don't worry about her. It will come back to her." Frustrated, I disagreed and told him it wouldn't because she's THAT girl, the one who gets away with treating people like crap to make herself feel better. But, I know it will come back to her. We talked about how insecure and sad she must be. I wouldn't sleep well knowing I had treated someone that way. 

We have too many friends and activities in common to avoid each other. SOO...From now on, I will find my strength and defense in THE WORD and knowing that the things she is judging or criticising about me are all surface things (my clothing---I'm no fashionista but I do ok, my house---which is very nice and serves the purpose, my car---which is a Honda Odyssey and I'm not sure what's wrong with that at all, etc.). However, one thing she will never be able to criticise (and happens to be the most important thing) is my character and personality. I take comfort in that and knowing that it's truly about her, not me.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
-Romans 12:19-20

I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
-Psalm 18:3

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
-Romans 12:14

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Potty Talk with Fulton

I am telling you! Fulton Baker needs to be a talk show host or something. But it would have to be held in a bathroom.That is where we have some of our best conversations...while he sits on the toilet, pondering life's big questions. He can strike up great conversations and keep them going with all kinds of twists and turns. He'd keep the attention of a studio audience any day!!! Tonight, as I sat on the side of the tub waiting for him to be "finished", he started chattin' it up with me as usual.

Here's the script:

Fulton: Mommy, do you have any stories about that man they call "The King"?

Me: You mean Jesus? Sure! We have lots of stories about Him.

(Some people would have thought Elvis. But I didn't...weird. Any who...)

Fulton: No! "The King" that changed the world a long time ago!!!

Me: Yeah, Jesus. Sometimes He is called The King.

Fulton: No! It was a king.

Me: Oh! King Herod? The wise men/The 3 Kings?

Fulton: Huh, The 3 Kings?

Me: Yeah like the 12th night celebration/3 Kings Day/The Epiphany...You know how we wait after Christmas for 12 days for the wise men to get to baby Jesus.

(Now we're both totally confused)

Fulton: No! You know! The King who changed the world and got shot.

Me: OOOOOOH!!!!!!! Martin Luther King, Jr. I don't have any stories about him but I can tell you what I know about him.

Fulton: Yeah! That's who I'm talking about.

Me: He was a very important person. He was not a king but his last name was King. He wanted everyone to be treated the same, regardless of how they look or where they come from. We can talk more about him when you get in bed.
Now, are you ready to get off the potty?

Fulton: No. I'm waiting on the Epiphany.

(Wait. WHAT?????)

I just left the bathroom laughing hysterically and said "Ok! Tell me when it's the Epiphany." Any who...look for him on TV station in your area...someday.


Happy 2nd Birthday,Oliver!!

TWO years ago today, this YUMMY chunk of love with jet-black hair was welcomed into our family.


We love you, sweet baby boy.
We are so glad to have you in our lives.
You're truly a gift from God and you have completed our "cord"!
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. -Ecclesiastes 4:12

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Bilzzard(s) 2010 & 2011=Total Hilarity

As a southerner, snow is surely not something we see frequently. So I especially love that we got an amazing Christmas bonus this year with a beautiful snowy day on the 26th of December. It seemed odd but felt so right at the same time.
Fulton packing a snowball with Sam's name on it!

I love the action shot of Fulton trying to get away.

OOOPS! Poor Ollie got pegged in the face as I ducked out of the way. Sorry, Little buddy!

We took the boys to Muzzy's to frolic in the snow, as our tree-filled yard doesn't get the blanket that her yard does. They enjoyed their snowball fights and building a mini-snowman (shoman as Ollie says). The snow was so soft that our snowman didn't hold up so well...we made it a snow-stool.

We tried. It just wouldn't stick.

Ollie taking a rest on the snow stool

My Snow Bunnies! thanks goodness Muzzy had an extra pair of gloves. Sam's got wet in a hurry with all the snowball making.

Even though I am more of a summertime gal, I welcome the snow whenever it comes. I don't usually play into the pre-snowfall hype because we frequently get disappointed. But in December and back in February '10 we were pleasantly surprised.

So today, as I am on the phone with my mom, she is telling me about all the prep-work she and my dad were doing "just in case."  And I asked, "are we really having a winter storm?", as I had not been watching the weather reports. She told me they are calling for 1-2 inches of snow (I can hear all of you in the states above us laughing right now) tonight and then turning into sleet/ice tomorrow, which could make it pretty nasty and cause us to lose power. WOW! I guess I should pay attention to the forecasters...right?

She mentioned she had already picked up a few staples, which reminded me that we too needed a few things. I decided to go ahead and make my weekly grocery list and head to the store with Ollie-bird.

As I drove to my usual grocery stop, The Pig on Forest, it hit me. This is real!!!

Grab your milk, your bread, your batteries, your eggs, and your propane tanks."

Ok...not really but you can only imagine the sight in "The Acres" of South Cackalacky.

Our ONE city snow plow truck (a.k.a. Bessie, as Shannon and I named her last year) is parked off Forest Drive, ready for action. The stores are packed!!!! The Pig-packed, CVS-packed, Eckerds-packed, Publix-packed, and it was then I decided I needed a good laugh. I took it a step further and went to WALMART...WHERE HILARITY ENSUES!!!!!

When I pulled up, there was no where to park. When I got inside, the lines were backing up into the apparel department. I was talking to a friend on the phone who said "you are a glutton for punishment." That I am!
As I was checking off my weekly shopping list this is some of what I saw...

 UMMMM...It's snow, not the apocalypse.

And SOLD to the girl in the black coat with the cute baby boy!
I celebrated in front of all the anxious customers because I managed to get the last container of skim milk. I could see the envy in their eyes. (AH HA HA HA!!!)

 I guess everyone wanted to get a head start on dying eggs for Easter. Hmmmmm?

Can't a girl just get some Frosted Flakes ("Snow" Flakes as Fulton calls them)????

Fortunately, I did BOGO on bread last week at the Pig, so I didn't need it this time. But rumor has it, that section was wiped out too. I tried my best to snap a photo of the couple with the cooler, 2 cases of beer and something resembling a mini generator, but it looked a little obvious when I was aiming at their cart and Ollie was saying "cheeeeeeeese". Wouldn't wanna get snowed in without your Busch Light. Oh! and I almost got into a fight with a non-English speaking person over the last box of regular Goldfish. I explained to her that she can have the colored ones...but she still wanted mine.

Any who. Our school district cancelled school for tomorrow by 6pm. All city offices were closed by 10pm.  I may end up eating my words about the forecast and that's fine, but the panic just cracks me up! Every time.

Here's to everyone having fun in whatever the weather may be on our day off tomorow!!!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My 2011 Ambush Make-over

I was so excited to learn that I had been selected for a 2011 Ambush Make-over.

I was contacted around 8 pm on New Years Day.

They told me I was the perfect candidate and begged me to agree to the opportunity.

Thoughts ran through my head...
"Will they color my hair?"
"Will they make me wear eyeliner?-I don't like eyeliner"
"Will they give me a short 'do?"
"I can't wait for the transformation!"
"Will Shannon like it?"
"Will I like it?"
"Will I cry at the big reveal?"

Although I was filled with skepticism of what the stylists would do with me, I was equally excited about being chosen.

Sam and Fulton just giggled and squealed when I told them I had decided to go through with it.

After all, why was I worried...I am in the hands of the best stylists around!!!!

Here I am before...







My hair was not short
They DID use eyeliner
The color had not changed
There was LOTS of blush and Lipstick

The After shot
(Sorry for the 30-day-drunk mug shot...the photographer was terrible)

 And here I am with my stylists
World Renown make-up and hair artists
Samboritzsky and Fu-Fu Bunny

They laughed hysterically the entire time. When Sam got out the eyeliner and said "Now where can I put this?", I almost wet my pants! They couldn't wait for Shannon to see me. It made my night...and theirs too.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Here goes...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! It's time to start all over again!

I have a love/hate relationship with the new year. Every year. I love the idea of being able to start fresh. Even though today (1-1-11) is really no different from yesterday, it just feels different. Fresh. Ya know? I hate it because I will once again be holding myself to a list of goals. Some I accomplish. Some I don't. It's the ones that I don't that bring me down. Soooo...This year I'm going to try to set realistic goals for myself from which my family and I may benefit. I started pondering my goals for 2011 about 12 months ago because I very quickly bombed on last year's and decided to start over this year.

As I posted earlier, 2010 was a bit on the yuck side for us and I feel there is definitely room for improvement. When reading these, you may think "gosh, she doesn't already do that!" And NO! I don't. Or I used to and have just REALLY fallen off the wagon in some areas!!! So here goes...

My friend Bevy over at It's a Golden Day has a great method to her madness of goal setting. Mine is quite similar and taken from one of my favorite organizational books More Hours in My Day by Emilie Barnes and Sheri Torelli. Their chapter on goal setting is right up my alley. They suggest choosing a mission statement or theme verse for you/your family and writing your goals according to categories, prioritizing, and making them measurable.

Our family theme verse for 2011: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24
My Goals:

a. Attend church more regularly (at least 2x/month)
b. Be more consistent with daily devotionals (Shan- 5x/week, The boys- 3x/week)
c. Pray nightly with my boys
a. Schedule routine check-ups (which I have been avoiding/making excuses for) by January 31, 2011
b. Go to the gym/exercise at least 200x this year
c. Eat 5 fruits and veggies a day
d. Start taking a multi vitamin daily (again)
e. Treat myself monthly to something cosmetic (hair, nails, massage, new make up item...I am better than the back burner!)
a. Make a weekly menu plan (again)
b. Make weekly trips to the grocery store (again)
c. Have a family game/activity night 2x/month
d. Schedule a date night in 1x/month and date night out 1x/month
e. Arrange visits to in-laws and grandad 1x/month
f. Visit with mom at least 1x/week
g. Invite mom and dad over at least 1x/month
a. Have a weekly "Dave Ramsey" budget meeting with Shannon
b. Increase our emergency fund $x,000 by June 1, 2011
a. Register for and complete 2 courses towards SC teaching certification by June 1, 2011
b. Change business name and update website by April 1, 2011
c. Establish accounts with at least 2 local businesses to rep my designs
Mental Health/Personal-
a. Repeat notes to self to daily: "Act the way I want to feel" - Gretchen Rubin The Happiness Project; "Energy begets energy" -Bob Green; "Worry less, act more."- Zig Ziglar
b. Read at least 6 fiction books this year (sad, I know.)
a. Send cards and/or gifts/make phone calls to family and close friends on birthdays/special occasions
b. Have play dates/sleep-overs for my boys at least 1x/month
c. Schedule dinner (in or out) with friends at least 1x/month
Community Service-
a. Get involved with an out reach mission at our church this year
b. Send boys to collect for Harvest Hope at least 2x this year

And there you have it!

With your support, I can be held accountable. With your prayers, I will hopefully be successful.