Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Fun & Memorable Moments

This week we spent three wonderful days with "Mr.D"s children, and their significant others. They are almost all grown up now, the youngest being nearly seventeen, which makes visiting a lot of fun on a different level. When our children were younger I am sure there was a lot of magic about the holidays, birthday celebrations, and visits with family. Now that they are older, there is a better understanding about the importance of spending time together.

Our journey began on Sunday morning with the road trip from NC to GA. We met up with his oldest son at a nearby gas station as they have moved to a new place, just he and his girlfriend. It's a nice wide trailer with a large living room, eat-in kitchen, guest bedroom, guest bath, laundry area, and master bedroom complete with garden tub, shower, and walk-in closet. We stayed in the guest room at the front end of the trailer which was equipped with a full sized bathroom. Since they were newly moved in and still getting set up, we brought along our airbeds, sheets, and blankets to make our room more comfortable for the stay.

After we finished setting up our room, we headed into the nearby town for some supplies for dinner. As part of our gift to them, and in thanks for them giving us lodging, we would cook meals for everyone during our visit. It made things a lot easier for his daughter, her fiancee, and his youngest son were able to come over for dinner each night before heading off to work. His youngest decided to stay overnight the last night of our visit.

"Mr.D" took the opportunity to speak with each of his children individually about what they wanted to do with their lives. It was one of the reasons he was excited about the trip down to see them. For years now he has been talking to them about moving north to explore the possibilities they were missing in GA. Please, don't get me wrong. I am sure there are areas in Georgia where one can excel in life, but the area in which they are living offers very little for young adults when it come to job opportunity.

While we were there we spent quality time with everyone. We had fun cooking together, watching comedy videos, talking and laughing together about all sorts of things, and getting to know their pets. We even managed to do some work around the house, including some plumbing. Even though Tiffany had two teeth pulled the day after we arrived, everyone still seemed to have lots of fun. I'm really glad we were able to make our trip down to see everyone!

After today's long road trip home it's time to turn in for a little rest and recuperation ... until our next adventure, goodnight!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Southward Bound!

It all seems to have come together nicely over the last couple of days. We found someone who wanted to watch the puppy until we get back, in the event the owner calls, or just adopt him should too much time elapse. Jenn and I are both sad that we are unable to keep him, but he would be a big expense as well as a lot of time and energy.

Ryan is all situated with where he will stay here in NC while awaiting for his former boss to call about his going back to work at the gas station. Whether he works while I am gone or not, I am sure he will have fun. Why not? He will be spending the week with his best friend and his family.

Jenn is going back to VA with Lisa and Steve later today after their visit with Grandma and Grandpa. She will be spending time with them until sometime after the first of the year. She wants to meet up with her brother Ted while she is there and they are all planning a trip in to Washington, DC to do some site seeing. Sounds like fun to me!

I'm packed and ready to go, will head into work shortly until 4 pm, and then I'll stop by here for anything I may have forgotten before heading west on the first leg of our trip south. All we'll have to do in the morning is load up the van and head south to GA to see "Mr.D" children. It's going to be a great visit I can just feel it!

Whooshing away now ... :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Time Together Matters Most

If you were to ask me what one gift meant most to me this Christmas, I would have to say time enjoyed with loved ones. Yesterday my boyfriend, my oldest daughter Lisa, and her husband Steve came to town for the holiday celebration. The celebration is about more than gift giving, it's about sharing that one gift that no one else can give ... your time. Even though we do share gifts, being together is more important.

Today we went to my parents for Christmas dinner, and this year we had the honor of bringing the sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole. My mom and dad normally make most of the main dishes, including some of the most delicious side dishes and desserts. However they were both sick with the flu, so we offered to bring whatever they needed to help prepare the meal.

When we had finished feasting on the most delicious meals, we gathered all into the living room for the traditional opening of gifts.

Cameron is the youngest of my parents grandchildren, and as such ost of the paper flying during the festivities was from his opening his toys. He's 4 years old and Christmas is still so magical!

The teens were excited to open their gifts too ... after all, green always makes for a good color in a gift. Each family had celebrated at their respective home before arriving at Grandma & Grandpa's so there is a less mess to have to clean up ... thank goodness!

Nearly everyone was in attendance, my parents, all four of my brothers, their wives, most of their children, most of my children, and my significant other ... "Mr.D" ;)
To all of the rest who were unable to be here ... Merry Christmas!
(Talena, Angelica, Nathan, Olivia, and Pamela)

Once we had managed to clean up from the dinner meal, we said our goodbyes for the day and headed home. It was wonderful to spend time with our friends and family, but it was time to get home to check on the puppy. When we arrived home we took him out for a stroll, fed him some dinner, and played with him until he passed out on the living room floor. He did really well during our absence today; I'm hoping his owner calls within the next 24 hours. For now, we'll enjoy having him around.

All in all, this has been a wonderful day, and now its time to relax. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Rescue

When I headed into work today, the last thing I expected to do was rescue a lost puppy. Around lunch time a small Husky pup wandered by our door as we were talking taxes. Joann asked if we saw what she thought she saw, and then we all headed to the door. There he was, as cute as could be, even tempered, beautiful black and white Husky. As we all stood outside to figure out what to do with him, my boss went next door to get some puppy chow, puppy treats, and toys. As she handed me the bag of goodies she said, "Take him home, his eyes match yours." Very funny.

When I arrived home it was all Jenn could do to contain her excitement. She danced at the idea of owning a Husky and was so thrilled to see this little fellow on Christmas Eve. I immediately reminded her that like all of the other pets we had rescued, this one had to have an owner somewhere that was missing him. We would try and wait to see if someone claimed him before finding him a new home. For now, Jenn is in puppy heaven. :)

I'm not sure when we might hear something from an owner since its so close to Christmas, but we left our number with a nearby veterinarian, a no-kill shelter, the animal shelter, and the pet store. I hope we hear something soon. We all will be leaving town on Saturday for the rest of our holiday vacation. I wish we could keep him too, but now is not a good time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Rush Before the Calm

I know it's late and I promise to get some rest, I'll need it. This week will be a busy one indeed. I have to work both jobs most of the week and get ready for visitors for the holidays. Here's what my schedule will look like for the week:

Monday - Run Jenn to her friends before I go to work at 11 am to job #2. Get off work at 8 pm, head home to work on getting the house in order before my guests arrive on Wednesday.

Tuesday - Work from 9 am to 4 pm at job #1, then work from 5 pm to 11 pm at job #2. After work I will return home and hit the hay!

Wednesday - Work from 9 am to 4 pm at job #1, then return home to join my guests for dinner. I'm hoping my kids will fix some chili; it's an easy meal.

Thursday - Arise, fix breakfast, bake a sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and get ready for the day's events. Head to mom's before 1 pm. Visit with the family, eat Christmas dinner, open presents, head home around 5 pm with the kids, then relax.

Friday - Enjoy my time with everyone until 4 pm when I will head into work from 5 pm to 11 pm at job #2. Come home and snuggle in for the night.

Saturday - Say my goodbyes to my children before they head off to VA. If Ryan is staying in town I'll drop him off at his friends house. Then I'll head to work at job #2 from 7 am to 4 pm. After work it will be time to head out to the sand hills for our trip to GA to see "Mr.D"s children.

The following week we will spend with each other while visiting his children, then returning to NC to await a call from Lisa to meet her halfway to pick up Jenn and Ryan from their visit to VA. Before we know it, the new year will be knocking on the door. I need to get to bed, more later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Homemade Gifts for Christmas

We have decided to make some of the gifts we are giving to each other for Christmas this year. Before Pamela arrived we purchased a large stocking, various stocking stuffer items, and supplies to make a special gift for her new apartment. Jennifer decorated the stocking as part of her gift for her sister. Then she helped me frame some photos we had taken from a previous visit, and a couple others from more recent times as her gift from all of us.

Pamela's Stocking
(design by Jenn)

Here Pamela's is trying to sneak a peak
into her stocking, imagine that!

Pamela is wearing her part of her scarf and glove set
while opening some of the stocking stuffer items.
Although she doesn't have a microwave she says
she can fix her hot cocoa on the stove. Her stocking was
filled with all sorts of goodies including fruit, gum,
tootsie roll bank, a small calendar, and a small framed
photo of her boyfriend.

This is the finished framed gift of photographs.
Beginning with the top left and continuing clockwise:
Ryan (the rock star); Pamela and Jenn;
Pamela (a model photo); and Pamela, me, and Jenn

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Early Christmas Visit

Yesterday my second eldest daughter came to town for an early visit for Christmas. This is the first Christmas in seven years that we have been together. The timing is kind of odd, but I think she had a two-fold reason for her visit being so early. We have just started to decorate for the holidays, but she really didn't mind. We met in town, headed over to the local department store to pick up some supplies, and then stopped to pick up dinner for all of us before heading home

We had planned on spending the evening together but I got a call from work reminding me that I was scheduled and was two hours late. OOPS! My days have been running together so much lately, and for some reason I thought I had to go in on Wednesday, not Tuesday! Pamela stayed here with Jenn and Ryan watching movies. By the time I got home after work, the kids were in bed as they had school today, and Pamela was awake and ready to talk for a while. We managed to get to bed around 2 a.m. making for a short night's rest for me ... :/ stuff happens ... :)

Today she headed to Fayetteville, NC to see one of her high school friends. He is in the military, stationed in Hawaii, and was home this week to visit his family. Pamela has stayed in touch with her friend and apparently had made plans to see him during our visit. So, she will return tomorrow to spend the evening with us and then head home until some time in January of 2009.

If all goes as planned tomorrow, we will head to my parent's for a brief visit, then head over to my brother's before heading home. Then sadly, she will head north to return to her home and get ready for work on Friday afternoon. These visits are not nearly long enough and hard to orchestrate when we are on different schedules. This is not an unusual thing though, my boyfriend's children are also on overnight work schedules, so we have learned to make adjustments when visiting.

Monday, December 15, 2008

State Championship Slips Away

This past Saturday our high school's football team traveled to play in their first ever State Championship game. Though they had experienced an undefeated season, this was not their best played game. Some speculated that the news of one of the football team's players having been diagnosed with a brain tumor put a damper on their spirit. Rumors stirred at school today about particular players going out the night before the game who partied a bit too hard. Apparently the outing hampered their performance for the most important game of their high school football career. Regardless, it was an honor to make it to the championship playoffs; maybe they will repeat their undefeated season but go on to win the State Championship. It would be a great gift to their retiring coach!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good Luck Red, White, & Blue!

Yes, tomorrow the kids high school's football team will go halfway across the state to play their first ever State Championship game! Can you tell, we are excited? Well, I won't be able to go, but Jenn will be performing during halftime with the band. She is riding a tour bus along with the rest of the color guard, band, football players, and cheerleaders. They leave here around 5:30 a.m. to get to the stadium before the game. Ryan and I will be cheering them on from the warmth of home. I would have loved to have been there, but the cost for all three of us to go was over $165.00. Right now, that kind of expense isn't realistic, so I've decided to spend it on the holidays.

"Go Big RWB!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OMG, Who Elfed Me?

Imagine my surprise as I opened my email to see that I've been elfed! But not just me, it's my boyfriend, my son, and my youngest daughter! LOL! Honestly, I love it!

You can be "elfed" too! Just visit and follow the easy instructions. Before you know it, you'll be a dancin' elf yourself!

Go ahead, have fun with it! I dare you ... ;)

Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 8, 2008


It has seemed like years since I had to deal with any of my children arguing about privileges based on age. There was a time when my oldest daughter would be allowed to do something, or go somewhere, and her younger sister (by four years) was not, thus causing discontent among them. No matter how much we tried to explain to Pamela that she wasn't old enough to do the things her sister was, she didn't get it. It didn't help that they were about the same height, adding to the argument in her defense. Nonetheless, the boundaries were set.

Now it begins again. Tonight Ryan won "meet the band" tickets for a concert that he and his best friend are attending tomorrow night. His friend is coming home from college for the Christmas break, and they thought it might be fun to go to the free concert in a nearby town. The band's name is "We The Kings" and they have a current hit song titled "Check Yes Juliette". Well, Jenn wants to go too, but she has a full day of school the following day. She had asked me if she could go and she assumed since I didn't answer, that she could go anyway. You can imagine her disappointment upon hearing my answer.

Thus ensued the argument between them, but only for a few moments when I stepped in and ended their heated discussion. During their arguing I heard "that's not fair" to which I thought, "that's life". I would imagine that next year, there will be a whole new set of challenges as we experience the "only child" syndrome with Jenn being the only child at home. Oh wait ... perhaps she won't be the only one. ;)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You Make the Call

If the absent parent is $10,239.00 in arrears with his child support, is not making his payments on a consistent timely basis, is not even attempting to make small payments to the arrears, should he send his child, whom he has had little to no contact with, a cell phone? Keep in mind, that a mobile phone, whether pay-as-you-go or one added to an existing plan, is an ongoing expense. Right? And if you are not currently paying the support needed for your child, does it make any sense to spend money monthly in order for the teen to have a luxury item?

I understand that a lot of teens have cell phones, but how many of them pay for their own, and how many have parents or someone else who have afforded them that privilege? I cannot afford that expense, and Jenn can't either since she is extremely involved at school with band, drivers education, and being an FFA officer. For some reason, she thinks that since her cousin down the street has had one for a long time now (in teen time a year is a long time) and he brother now has a cell phone, she should have one. Ryan lucked out for now. He has a friend who added him to their plan. It may not be the smartest move, and could flop should he not soon get a job.

As a single parent on a limited budget, I tend to watch what we spend money on as closely as possible. A cell for either of them is out of the question. There is no argument when it comes to my owning one since mine is paid for by my oldest daughter and her husband. She used to call me on my home phone and was running up her cell bill. Her husband suggested they combine their services and add me to their plan. This would keep their bill to a minimum and give her unlimited minutes to talk to me. Nice son-in-law!

In my opinion, if my ex-husband cannot pay his child support on a consistent timely basis, he shouldn't be sending gifts that someone else will have to maintain monetarily. A gift such as a watch, book, teddy bear, DVD movie, music CD, or something personal and not too expensive would be appropriate, and this would only seem natural if he were in their lives on a consistent basis. Since he is not, these types of gifts would be empty in value, and the phone would be an inappropriate to say the least.