Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Winter wonderland

Last night, we gathered up the plants and firewood and were ready to go, but all we got was lots of rain. We went from about 80 around 4 p.m. to the 40s around 6:20 p.m. last night. Now, we have snow coming down and we're in the 20s. This is uber-cold when you're in Texas. Stinkerbelle wore a sundress and sandals to preschool yesterday!

The boys went to school this morning and now we have SNOW! Army of Dad stayed home from work because the commute can be absolutely evil when the weather is like this. Texans have no idea how to drive in these conditions and they'll do one of two things: either drive 5 mph even when it is safe to go faster or they drive like a bat out of hell and spin out on black ice.

I love Stinkerbelle wiping her grubby little peanut-butter laden fingers on my glass door. Grr. We tried to cover (bottom right) my most delicate blooming flowers in the front garden. I doubt they'll make it, though, since we're going to have freezing temps for about five days straight.

I just hope we get enough accumulation for the kids to sled down the driveway this afternoon. We'll see how it goes. It is coming down right now.


Romo-erotic hump day

You know, maybe I put too much stock in the Big Tuna. I trusted his judgment. If Tony Romo was a back-up QB for three years, then maybe the dude did not have what it took to be a starting QB in the NFL.

But, lo and behold, I have drank the Kool-Aid. And, now, I too, think he may be the next Tom Brady. That is a pretty sweet comparison for the cutie-patootey-uber-talented Romo. And, I hear he makes a mean BBQ, too.

I was never a fan of that style uniform, but he makes it look good.

He looks a bit uncomfortable with the reach-around celebration, doesn't he?

Doesn't he look like the high school quarterback from a small town school? He has that very cute, innocent boy looks.

I just like a man in charge.

And, he can put the moves on and get going, unlike Drew Bledsoe, who sprouted roots when he was QBing.

I just noticed our helmets don't match the uniforms. Maybe that is why the navy ones with the stars on the shoulders are growing on me, they match. It's a chick thing.

He looks a bit awkward in a suit, though.

I like the confident look in this picture.

So, there you have it, ladies. You're wanting to watch football, now, aren't you?


My favorite place ...

Pickle proudly phoned me this afternoon to tell me he just found out that he won the PTA Reflections art contest for the sixth grade at his middle school. The theme for this year's contest was "My favorite place" and, of course, the goofy little anime/comic book nerd that he is, he decided that AnimeFest was his favorite place.

It is sort of hard to tell when I make the photo so much smaller to fit the page, but he has drawn all his favorite anime characters in ink. Uzz has a great enhanced image It is pretty impressive, I must say.

Now, we don't know yet if he moves on in competition or how it works, but we'll try to find out.

For now, I'm a proud momma.



Oh thank Jesus, the gods of football finally heard my pleas and answered my prayers.

The Cowboys released Vanderjacked. Now, I'm not sure if we've gone from bad to worse, but I don't think it could get much worse than to pay the $5.4 million over three years to a big-headed jerk who shanks way too many field goals.

We'll see if "journeyman" Martin Gramatica can put some through the uprights. God help us.



Who the hell fed Joseph Addai a giant helping of Wheaties this morning?

Jesus H. Christ.

The dude has had like three touchdowns all year. So, guess where he is on my fantasy football line up? Hell yeah, his cute little tight ass is warming my bench.

But, the dude has scored three TDs already and is running up the field like a fiend on speed.

And, to add insult to injury, John Madden and Al Michaels keep going on and fucking on about Addai and how he is tearing it up.

Then, my clever husband thinks it is really fucking hilarious to do a John Madden imitation.

AoD as John Madden: *in that ridiculous voice* Oh, Army of Mom in Denton, Texas, is cursing Al. Ha ha ha. Not cursing Al, but cursing, Al. Haha. She's cursing because she didn't play Addai and he is tearing it up. Ha ha ha.
AoD as AoD: Damn. 15 carries, 122 yards, three touchdowns and probably some receiving yards, too.
AoM: *shooting dirty looks at AoD* Fuck.

*deep sigh*

I'm going to bed. This is making my head hurt. Come on, Westbrook. Carry the damn ball into the end zone. I have him, too. But, wait ....

Woo fucking Hoo .... my main man finally passed the goddamned ball to Reggie Wayne. I have his ass in the starting line up!!!! Thank God. Something to finally smile about before I go to bed.


In the words of Buck Owens ...

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

My range arrived this morning about an hour early. I was still in bed and had to grab my robe and greet the delivery guy wearing my new birthday gift bathrobe as I had slept in the emperor's new clothes. So, that was uncomfortable. But, I digress.

They're getting the range out to bring in when they notice a dent on the side. Probably not a big deal, but I get my husband (who used to work at an appliance store/distributor) so he could make the final decision. He goes out and look and, alas, the dent is right on a corner so the bottom drawer won't shut properly.


The delivery guy couldn't reach his warehouse folks to find out when they could bring me another one. So, I guess I'll call Home Depot today and get my salesguy to help me sort through the mess.

I guess it is fine. We're making ham and eggs on the stovetop and we have the ham bone in the crock pot with a 15-bean soup ready for dinner tonight. We can make do. I was just really hoping to make a REAL pumpkin pie in my new convection oven with the blue ceramic interior for the family instead of the mini pies I made in the toaster oven Wednesday night. Oh well.


Why we need a salary cap in baseball

Exhibit A: Carlos Lee is good. But, is he $100 million over six years good? I don't think any baseball player is worth that.

But, this is the crap that has been getting out of hand with each and every succeeding contract. Mediocre players are getting money that is out of this world. There is no parity. There is no fairness. Look at teams like Minnesota. They don't have that kind of money, but they play with heart. Then, when that player who has performed well beyond his payscale, as soon as he can, he bails to get paid the big bucks. Who can blame him? But, it isn't fair. We all know that every year the same teams will make it to the playoffs. Yeah, we'll get a Twins or a Tigers every now and then, but it is few and far between.

I have been screaming about a salary cap in Major League Baseball for years. And, crap like this just reinforces why America's pasttime is becoming a bunch of shit. There will be a time when I will not be able to take my kids to a ball game. By the time you've paid $5 to $15 to pay to park, you're paying $15 per seat for the cheap seats, then you can't afford a $5 beer and $3.50 soda. Don't even get me started on souvenir costs. I'm so completely disgusted.

If I didn't love baseball so much, I'd be done with it.

Black Friday

Well, I had vowed I would never EVER get up at O Dark Thirty to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. But, I did. My camera is dying, so I needed a new one. I found this Kodak EasyShare 6.1MP Digital Camera for $189 at Best Buy.

So, I got that and a new 1 GB memory card for $14.99 and Dodgeball DVD for $4.99 along with a new Keith Urban CD for about $6.99.

Then, I ventured over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and get a new teamaker, some mixing bowls (because I had to keep washing the same one to use over and over while cooking yesterday) and a new measuring cup.

I figured I was out already, so why not go to WalMart and get Stinkerbelle a few things from the grandparents. I'm shopping for both sets. She got a Cabbage Patch baby she wanted complete with curly hair and brown eyes and a Play-Doh craft table with Play-Doh, markers and Crayons.
The is the Snuggle Bean Cabbage Patch that I got Little Bit. She was asking for one of these. It was only $10!!! Can't beat that.

I left the house at 5:40 a.m. and made it home around 8 a.m. My dear honey let me sleep till about 11:30 and then we took the kids to go see Happy Feet. It is a dear, dear movie. I loved it. But, I LOVE penguins, too, so I've been looking forward to this movie for more than a year. There was a really groovy tease of the Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix movie coming out next summer, too.

Now, we're off to see my parents, my sister-in-law and my nephews. Since my brother's divorce, we figure it won't be too much longer before we don't see the boys as often. Plus, my oldest nephew just turned 17 (I think) and he is going to be doing his own thing soon enough.


Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for many things this Thanksgiving. I hope you are, too.

God bless us, everyone.


Super results for super boys

Our soccer team of 12-year-olds showed a lot of heart this weekend as they battled to take third place in a tournament with 10 teams. They played Friday night and won handily 4-0 after we drove around in circles for more than an hour trying to find where we were going. On Saturday, they won a hard-fought game 1-0 and then finally gave out that evening and lost a heartbreaker 2-1. Even with the loss, we qualified to advance to the semi-finals Sunday morning. The boys lost 3-1 to the team that eventually won the tournament.

But, the boys' blood, sweat and tears helped them earn their third place medals Sunday afternoon as they battled a team of cheaters. As Coach Army of Dad put it: The boys beat the team with the best 14-year-old keeper in the 12-year-old division. Swear to God. When I saw the kid on the field, my first thought was "why is that coach on the field?" He was SOOO not 12. It was so blatant that the referee stopped the game and went to ask a tournament official to do a roster check because the boy did not appear 12. The official asked a coach for the boy's name, but the coach didn't know the kid's last name. Sound fishy to you, too? Well, at halftime, they asked the "child" to write his name and birthdate and after a check, it matched a name on the roster. Short of that, there isn't much they can do. We can file formal complaints, etc. but that doesn't change things. All of our boys were frustrated, the parents were frustrated and we, as coaches, were frustrated. But, we told the boys that we can't change anything, we have to deal with the situation. That other team had no substitutes, so our boys (who coach whips into tiptop shape with lots of fitness practices) just ran them down. We were down 1-0 at halftime. The boys just kept on punching the ball back into the other end and kept taking shot after shot. With about 12 minutes to go in the second half, we tied it up 1-1. Then, with about two minutes left in the game - the boys shot another one in to put us ahead 2-1. As time was running out, the boys were about to put in a third goal, but time expired before they were able to do it. Our scoring MVP had a loose tooth anyway, but it got knocked a little looser sometime during the game, but he didn't care when we won. He came off the field wiggling it and smiling!

The moral to the story is that cheaters never win. It was a wonderful lesson we were able to teach the boys! They were very proud of themselves. Here are the boys with their medals.

And, here were our tournament MVPs. The kid on the left was all over the field on defense and made plays that made him stand out from the rest of the team. The kid on the right was our top scorer in the tournament.

Here are the boys looking at the trophy. We had lots of happy parents, too. We wanted to beat the cheaters (seen in the background) because it just wasn't fair for the boys to work hard and lose like that. You can see the giant keeper (standing at the bench with his foot up behind our parents). That mom standing with the navy sweatshirt and arms crossed was so mad, she said "So, they'll figure out he isn't 12 when he drives home!" It was amusing.

Here is one of the few action shots I got. My camera is on its last leg.

And, one of my favorites with his fancy footwork.

He is one of the best players and was one of our season MVPs, but he got cleated early on and was suffering the whole tournament. But, he persevered.

These kids are hams! The one with his hand on the keeper is the one above with the fancy footwork.

It was pretty cold most of the tournament!

And, of course, this group is never complete without a nutty picture. It is the team's trademark. Of course, I love our MVP on the far right. He isn't paying attention to the craziness -he is focused on his medal! The kids made the newspaper today. While calling all of them to tell them, I got Wow, Cool, Sweet and other exclamations. They're pretty proud of themselves and they should be.

Talk about paranoid

I have not been a fan of Rosie O'Donnell for some time now. It all started back in the mid-90s when a little girl from Midland won a contest on Nick to go meet the star and appear on a little talk show for kids with weight issues. Her mom said Rosie was the meanest, most fake person around. She said Rosie ignored the children and their requests for autographs unless the cameras from CNN (who were there to do some piece on Rosie) were running. As soon as the cameras turned off, so did Rosie's charm.

Then, her attack on one of my main men - Tom Selleck - turned me off. It only rolls down hill from there. I will never watch The View again as long as she's on there. I saw some clip of her making crap up and spewing forth her tripe about the war and I just had to turn it off before I exploded. She wouldn't even let that cute little gal from Survivor get a word in edgewise.

Today, her latest venture into the world of being an asshole. Apparently, Kelly Ripa is the lastest target of Rosie's opinion that the entire world of straight people must be homophobic. Clay Aiken put his hand on Kelly's mouth during a show, so he could ask a question, and Kelly made some comment about not knowing where his hand had been and how she didn't like him doing that. Well, leave it to Rosie to accuse Kelly of being homophobic and insinuating something ugly about where his hand had been. I'd say that to ANYONE who put their hand over my mouth like that! And, that is pretty much what Kelly said in response. She said it is flu/cold season and Clay had been shaking hands with the audience and she didn't want to catch something to take home to her kids. I think that is fair enough. I would have NEVER read anything about him being gay into that remark. Hell, I don't know where ANYONE's hands have been and I've been a ferocious handwasher this season.

Anyway. I think Rosie is getting a bit paranoid and jumping to conclusions with this latest rant.

MVP Hunk

The competition for this week's hunk was fierce. First, I was going to go with Tony Romo or Peyton Manning after watching those boys in action Sunday afternoon. Then, I thought about Eli Manning (since he was in my dreams Monday night!)

But, then, I heard the announcement about Justin Morneau being named the AL MVP and I knew my choice was made. Hot Rod got Justin's autograph on a baseball card this summer at the Ballpark at Arlington (aka Ameriquest Field). I have a picture of him up close somewhere burned on a CD.

He is a big man up close. Trust me. Very intense looking, too.

Gorgeous swing.

Yep, pretty cute on top of being a damn fine ball player.


No love for the hobbits

Looks like financial disputes will prevent Peter Jackson from directing any LOTR prequels or The Hobbit. That sucks. He did such a good job with LOTR, I was looking forward to those.

Ahh, to have dreams of hobbits again.

Ooh, and look who is front and center? Yep, my dream man.

Adventures in Thanksgiving

Well, we talked about buying a new coil for the old oven, so we could make it work between now and the delivery of the new oven, but it is $35 and I'm too cheap to spend the money on something I'm going to throw away in four days.

So, we are opting for a holiday cooking adventure. We are going to get a spiral ham and cook it on the BBQ grill. My husband can grill some potatoes and then we will cook some stuffing out there in a dutch oven. I can use the toaster oven to warm the bread and we'll just do everything on the stovetop.

Won't that be fun? Who's with me?

I think it will be fine. When handed lemons, make some lemonade. Fortunately, the fridge still works, so we have a place to keep the lemonade cold. I figure I can make the big feast on Christmas this year instead of Thanksgiving. It won't be the same and it won't be our tradition, but it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of life. We'll still have our family with us and football on the tube. Life will be fine. Plus, it will be 78 on Thanksgiving here. So, that is grilling weather anyway.

Right? Right.


Now what?

Well, I'm not sure what we're going to do now. I usually cook buttloads of food for my family and my folks and whatever stragglers happen to come along. Only now, the oven in my range has died. I noticed the coil on fire the other day. Then, last night, I was making pumpkin bread for the PTA to give the teachers and it wasn't quite doing the trick. Then, tonight, while making some fish sticks and chicken nuggets - the oven wasn't getting hot at all.

We go to find a new range and have it delivered and installed by Wednesday.

Ain't going to happen unless we want an $1,100 range. Uh, no. Sure, I want it. But, I don't have money for that. So, our new range will be delivered on Saturday.

SO, what am I going to do for Thanksgiving? Good question. I dunno yet. We're going to check the local appliance store to see if they have a cheap replacement coil to get us through the week. If not, I'm thinking Black-Eyed Pea may be our option.

So, here is my new range. I have been wanting one for two years. I guess I finally got it. Just not in time.
Oooh, ahhh. You're jealous, right? Well, you could be if I was getting it Wednesday instead of Saturday. *sigh*

Mmm, mmm good

I'm still learning to savor the taste of crow. It is so much sweeter than I ever thought it could be. But, I'm glad that I was wrong. Tony Romo is getting the job done. We went to the Cowboys-Colts game yesterday and it satisfied my need to see Peyton Manning and watch the Cowboys play one of the best games I've ever seen them play.

While at the game, my dear husband told me about the blog of the "real" Drew Bledsoe and I love the name: Tony

It is a riot. Go and enjoy.

In the words of the Beatles ...

Come together, right now ... over me.

Global Orgasm for Peace is coming up (sorry for the pun) next month. You're supposed to contemplate World Peace while getting your rocks off.

Funny, I may be thinking about a "piece" but it isn't that kind of peace.

You thought it, too! Don't lie!

What dumbass thought this was a good design for a child's toy?

And, don't say you don't see what I'm saying. My friend, Kelvinator, sent this to me and didn't even say a word. She just included the link.

Good Lord, there are stupid toy designers out there.


SPF: For Jenelle

This week, the lovely yet brain-exploded Kristine at Random and Odd gave us an assignment suggested to her by Kelly at Missing JT Snow. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and Kelly's daughter, Jenelle suffers from a very severe type of epilepsy. To bring more awareness to this horrible disease, Kelly had some ideas for SPF:
1. Something you seize (as in seizure, get it?)
2. Something that shakes (because you shake when you have seizures)
3. And something purple (because purple is the color for National Epilepsy Awareness Month!

So, without further ado, I earn bonus points again for a theme.

Something you seize: The opportunity to take my son to his first professional football game to see his favorite team, the Vikings, and mine, the Cowboys, at Texas Stadium. In a few years, the Cowboys will be playing in Arlington in a new stadium.
*pic removed cuz it was effing up the page*

Something that shakes: booties, boobs and pom-pons.

This one is pretty self-evident.

And, something purple is easy in our home: Vikings attire.


So, did you play this week?


It's a small world, after all

The second-graders performed tonight at the PTA meeting and, of course, the flash bulbs and camcorders were out en masse.

We have one little boy mainstreamed and he was really enjoying himself. That was Hot Rod's best friend from last year who was patting the special needs kiddo on the head. It was very sweet. Hot Rod is on the far right, second row in the snowman sleeveless sweater.

That's my boy with his "light."

And, while singing "Its a small world" he leaned to the left so mom could get a picture. Between songs - but during the performance (I moved up to the front row to take pictures) - he leans over and says "I bet Stinkerbelle loved the Little Mermaid song we just sang." Everyone within two rows burst out laughing.

The little movements and make-shift choreography are always good for a tear or a smile. It isn't right to take a PMSing mom to a school performance.

K - the gal next to Hot Rod - kept flirting with him the whole performance. She's a cutie, though. The little girl in teh row behind him in the striped sweater was in his class last year and used to make eyes at him, then. He's quite the ladies' man, even though he hasn't had a girlfriend yet. Thank God!!! Mom was very proud of him and I didn't even cry this time.


Whip it out, mama

As a mother who nursed all three of her babies, I find it really offensive that a flight attendant would remove a nursing mother from a flight because she refused to cover up with a blanket. Apparently, the mom said she was in a window seat and her husband was between her and the aisle. A flight attendant offered a blanket, she refused and was asked to disembark the plane.

First off, I took Pickle on several plane rides when he was an infant and the pediatrician advised us to nurse, give him a bottle or a pacifier because the sucking would help the baby's ears not pop and hurt upon take-off and landing. Helloooo, people. She was trying to make the ride more comfortable for everyone around her, most likely. I'm guessing someone, somewhere took some offense to this because there was a bare breast someone in the vicinity and we certainly can't have that.

That just really irritates me. I nursed in public and I never whipped out a boob for the world to see. I have seen a few women do that and my eyes always bugged out every time I saw it, but once the baby is latched on, no harm, no foul. If this woman really was being discreet, it was obviously someone with a hang-up who was offended. My dad is one of those guys. He is VERY old school when it comes to nursing. If he had his way, women would hide in backrooms to do it. I nursed in public with a nursing bib on and no one usually knew what I was doing. If the baby was wiggly or inquisitive, I covered up everything but the baby's head, so he or she could see what was going on. My dad finally relaxed a bit when he realized that I could nurse without him having to see my boobs. Plus, I think nursing is one of the most natural, wonderful practices. It is nutritious, cheap and easy (for the most part). Now, this lady's kid was 22 months, which is pushing my comfort level for nursing, but it is perfectly acceptable in many cultures and isn't too terribly creepy in the states. Regardless, Delta and Frontier are going to have their asses handed to them for giving this woman grief.

Getting his just desserts

This douchebag proved once again that criminals tend to be stupid. Our big hope is that maybe he ruined his chances of reproducing and continuing to shallow out the gene pool.

How did I get here?

It is 5:02 p.m. and my house is quiet.

Hot Rod is in the backyard playing golf.
Pickle is at the table doing his homework.
Little Bit is watching "Lord of the Beans" in the front room.

No one is rushing around looking for a shin guard, tennis racket or jacket. No one is begging me to fill the water jug or help them find a backpack.

This may very well be the first night that we've had at home with no activities since 1996.

Seven Wonders of MY World

1. The mangling of a perfectly good Slinky in less than two minutes.
2. The continued growth of children in spite of the fact that most of their food ends up on their face, hands, clothes and the floor under the table.
3. Echoes of "I'm hungry!" 10 minutes after a meal.
4. Appearances of random objects - such as acorns, candy wrappers and small toys - in the lint collector of my dryer.
5. The laundry hamper's ability to spontaneously reproduce dirty laundry despite repeated emptying and washing.
6. Amazing rejuvenating powers of the bedtime bath to refresh children and wipe away all hints of exhaustion.
7. My calendar's magical powers to whiz through the weekends and drag during the workday.

Just a little short

Talking about the New England Revolution. They came up one goal short of the MLS Cup on Sunday.

But, one fella, who stood out and was incredible to watch was Taylor Twellman. Thusly, my hunk of the week.

Seems like every picture I found of him, he is smiling.

Bonus eye candy with Revolution keeper Reis. He was awesome, too.

What a gorgeous smile.

And another.

The big shame was that the Houston Dynamo really didn't outplay the Revolution in the game Sunday, but they made the clutch PKs when the time came around. Great game. It was one of those incredible sporting events to add to my list of sports events attended. We are pretty lucky to get to be a part of so many cool events. And, see cuties like this, too.


Wizbang Blog Award Nominations

Nominations for The 2006 Weblog Awards are now open. Wizbang's is the world's largest blog competition, with more than 1 million votes cast in the last three years for nearly 1,000 blogs.
The master list of nomination posts can be found here for the 46 categories.

I was a finalist in 2004 and finished in the top three. I won my category last year, but it was tarnished a bit by some unfriendly competition and accusations of cheating (by other people for other blogs). This year, if anyone cares to nominate me *hint, hint* I am in this category. I really need to be more of blog whore, but I don't have time for that. Instead, I'll just beg and cajole for someone to nominate me and then vote for me Chicago style.

That's gotta hurt!

When you take Photography 101, one of the first rules is to look at the surroundings when you are shooting a portrait. I learned on the job when I was a small-town reporter. Once, I shot *figuratively, not literally* then Oklahoma State Senator Don Nickles in his office for a story I was doing and I didn't pay attention to this cardinal rule and he looked like he had antlers where I shot him squarely in the middle of some trophy buck on his wall. My editor called me over and said:

Gnarly mean old editor: Look at this picture.
Nubile young reporter: Yeah.
Gnarly mean old editor: What's wrong with this picture?
Nubile young reporter: Uh, I dunno.
Gnarly mean old editor: *rubbing his temples and trying to conceal the laughter* He has horns. Look. He has horns. Now, call him back, tell him what you did. Give him this picture and ask him nicely for another half-hour of his time.
Nubile young reporter: Can't I just tell him that it got messed up in processing?
Gnarly mean old editor: Nope, call him now and tell him the truth. It is a learning experience.

So, I learned the hard way. Apparently this photographer didn't learn the same lesson.


My first instinct is to think:

OWWWWWWW!!!!! My hair is on fire!!!!!!

Then, my second thought:
*grunting* Man, I need more fiber in my diet.

*shaking my head* Someone got paid to shoot this.


OKC Memorial

On Oct. 1, on my way home from my girls' weekend in rocking Enid, Okla., my friend and I stopped in Oklahoma City because she had never been to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. We didn't have time to visit the musuem, but the outdoor symbolic memorial is a site to see, in itself.

Titled simply "Jesus Wept", this is the memorial at the Catholic church across the street from the Murrah building. That is part of the memorial behind the statue.

This is my gorgeous friend who went with me to Oklahoma.

Once you're inside the memorial, this is on the wall as you enter. We ventured in to see the gift shop before we left.

This is a memorial left for a mom who died in the bombing. They still have a section of fencing outside for the makeshift memorials.

Designed by Butzer Design Partnership, this Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19. It encompasses the now-sacred soil where the Murrah Building once stood, capturing and preserving forever the place and events that changed the world. The design was selected in an international design competition including 624 entries submitted from every state and 23 countries. The design is intended to frame the moment of the fateful blast at 9:02 a.m. One end reads 9:01 and the other 9:03.

Each chair represents a person who died in the bombing. The little ones represent the children. Each row represents which floor they were on when they died.

It is one of those beautiful places where you contemplate all the "what ifs" in the world and just remember the picture of the limp body of Baylee Almon cradled gently by the firefighter. She had turned 1 just the day before she died in the blast. I was in awe by how quiet the memorial was. Everyone demonstrated the appropriate contemplation that the memorial invokes. You can't help but be touched when you see the walls of what was the Murrah Federal Building edging one end of the outdoor memorial. The chairs. Ohmigod, the little chairs, in particular. That day rushes vividly to my mind. I had just dropped Pickle off at daycare and got in the car and heard the news. Then, working at a newspaper made it easier to do, but I was glued to the news coverage on TV. I just couldn't believe someone could do that and in little bitty Oklahoma City - the heart of small-town America. It still seems almost surreal that it really happened. But, this memorial is done very, very well. I went through the museum back in early 2001 and it was incredible. I remember so much about it. I highly recommend going and planning on spending about three hours. There is a lot to see.

Blame my husband

I still haven't posted much in the past few weeks as life is crazy and nuts, as usual. On Nov. 6, my dear husband and I took our boys to a political rally in Dallas in which President Bush appeared. Of course, there had to be some protesters outside. They were a smelly bunch, as hippies tend to be, and they had some very clever rhetoric including signs that said "You suck" and equally enlightening things. (I'm not making that up.)

There were two, in particular, who defaced the American flag, too. My sons were horrified. They have been taught to love our country and our freedoms. So, my husband and I spent a good hour or two that evening explaining to them that we have the freedom to speak our mind and protest peacefully at events. We're all entitled to our opinions - however misguided they may be. We talked about why these people have their opinions, etc. The boys were most troubled by the desecration of the flags. While it is illegal to do, I know most cops won't enforce it because they don't want to give these people the martyr status they so strongly desire.

I give all this explanation to build up to why my 7-year-old Hot Rod has been on a campaign of eliminating the world of hippies. All of his play lately has centered on sending the hippies away. I found this site with shirts designed by Army Rangers and I was thinking that one, in particular, might be a good one for my son.

Don't blame me, blame my husband for this one. And, no, I'm not really going to buy it for him. Please.


Happy Veteran's Day

Today, I want to give a big shout out to all the vets around the world. Thank you so much for your service to our country and to the rest of the world. No one can say our servicemembers only serve the USA. They make sacrifices to serve people everywhere.

Here are my two favorite vets via 1997: Army of Dad and SSG Rob Rob the Heart-throb.

Rob is in Tikrit right now and won't be home till next summer.

Take a moment to pray for our active-duty armed forces and give a word of thanks to all those who have worn the uniform for our freedom. I'll salute my favorite veteran in a very special way today.

Oh yeah, fly your flag today, too, if you don't normally.