Army of Mom

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


Merry Collin-mas!

Yes, Virginia. There is a Collin Mangrum. And, this is our Merry Collinmas gift to you. I thought this first shot was super cool with the ball actually in the frame. I still take more bad shots than good ones, but every now and then I get a good one. I like this one.
Tonight was my mom's 70th birthday and fortunately, she didn't mind celebrating at a Mean Green basketball game. I come from a sports-loving family, so it is all good. Plus, I got my voice back, so I could heckle again. The last two games have been painful for me without the ability to yell at the refs.
Yeah, just a good pic. No. 3 for Texas Southern - his name is Junior Treasure. Ahh, the jokes I wanted to share. But, he sank some nice shots.
Collin started tonight, which was super cool for the super fans. :) Played well, too.
I was shocked to see him lose a ball because his ball-handling skills are awesome, but when you look here, it is sort of easy to see why he lost the dribble - easy to do when the dude has ahold of your arm!
Super Sweeper Girl. Too precious.
Two words: leg muscles. Yeah. Enough said.
Such a good defensive player. Hard to believe, but he didn't have a foul tonight.
Little Bit was so excited to encounter one of the cheerleaders before the game. She even got to hold her pom-pons. She was in heaven.

Happy 70th Mom!

Today will be my mom's 70th birthday. I've been fortunate to have her around for this long. From lifelong heart problems - including open heart surgery in November 2007 - to breast cancer in 1989. The stroke in 2005 wasn't an easy recovery either. But, through it all, she has kept on kicking and stayed mean as ever.
I was lucky to have her fly out to San Francisco to sitesee with me after a work trip just after my birthday last month. We had a great time and I am blessed we got to do that together.
Tonight, she is coming out to see a UNT basketball game with us. Not sure if it was her way of celebrating this milestone, but it appropriate for our family to celebrate with sports. So, I guess if she's happy, its all good.
So, here's to you, Mom. I hope you have many more years ahead of you.


Christmas DeLights

Took the little girl to see the lights at Vaderville in Providence. It was uber-cool and Little Bit squealed with delight. If you go, take some canned goods for the Hope Food Bank. My favorite part was the Christmas hymn of Twisted Sister's O Come All Ye Faithful. Yeah, good stuff.

Mean Green Youth Clinic

You had me at Mean Green. But, when you throw in free, then I'm all yours with a big green bow tied around me. These kids couldn't have gotten any better basketball instruction than they did from the UNT coaches and players. It was awesome. Little Bit has never really had much interest in playing basketball, but I encouraged her to participate in the camp and see what she thought. She LOVED it. Too bad it is too late for her to give bball a chance this season. We're cheering (yeah, I'm coaching again, God help those 17 little girls on my squad.)
Here, one of the men's coaches, Charlie Leonard, instructs Little Bit in ball handling. Too cute.
Of course, you had to know there would be a shot or two of Collin Mangrum. Here is Hot Rod in his ball handling skills group.
Hot Rod does okay, but he has to look at what he's doing. He hasn't quite developed the desire to dribble a lot for practice.

And, this is about the most precious thing I've seen. This is one of Little Bit's buddies from school. His mom is one of Hot Rod's teachers, too. Little Bit would like to have more female friends, but much like her mom, she is buddies more with the boys than the girls.

Getting some instruction on guarding. These girls looked like they were having fun instructing Little Bit.

Hot Rod working on his shooting and rebounding skills. He took one off the chin in this drill.

A big yawn spread across the boy's face after getting up early to go duck hunting with his dad.

Awaiting his rebound.
Comparing autographs after the camp.
Waiting in line for Collin's autograph. His dear mom brought us a lovely plate of cookies (a tasty treat). The kids thought that was awesome. She's a sweet lady.
Scrappy loves our baby girl almost as much as she loves him. Wish I knew he was outside of that suit. :)

Crafty Kind of Christmas

Almost two weeks ago (yeah, I know I'm really behind), Little Bit and Hot Rod got to paint gourds for Christmas tree ornaments at a free library program. A local gardening club grew the gourds and prepared them for the children to paint. It was really neat and even Hot Rod got into it.
He managed to charm one of the ladies into helping him.
And despite his best efforts to act cool, he actually enjoyed it.
Little Bit, too, managed to get lots of women helping her out, as well.
She also told the Big Guy, provided by Wells Fargo, what she wanted for Christmas. She decided just a few weeks ago that she'd like to have a Nintendo DS. Well, that ain't happening. Santa, thankfully, told her that his elves in Taiwan were working overtime and he wasn't sure they'd have enough for everyone. She made a list today that she wants me to deliver to another of Santa's helpers. :)

No. 22

Yep, folks. That's Emmitt Smith. One of the greatest RBs in NFL history. The ONLY running back to win a Super Bowl, NFL MVP, rushing crown, and Super Bowl MVP in one season. I got to get a quick interview with him and I went all "unprofessional" and asked him for his autograph. But, c'mon. Really? It was Emmitt Freaking Smith!!!! My first Cowboys jersey was a No. 22 given to me by my beloved. Army of Dad's sister crossed the stage with Emitt at the University of Florida as they both graduated on the same day. :) How cool is that? He was very nice, if not a little suspect of the new media gal on the scene. My new job is so very cool.


Wabbit season, no duck season

Father and son have been duck hunting a lot on the weekends. This weekend was no different. Dad got one of these ducks Saturday evening and left it bagged up in my beer fridge (ick). He got the other two this morning. So, the kids love to show them off for a picture to mark Great White Hunter's efforts. Yes, that is my husband's Native American name. Mine? Keeper of All Things.

The nut has been cracked

Now that the Nutcracker performances are over, I'm a feeling a little bittersweet. It is amazing how much pride we (as parents) have for the simplest things our children do. Hot Rod was the tail-end of the dragon. All I could see was his little black-socked feet jostling along, but I still welled with pride.
Here is a mix of the dragon parts and toy soldiers waiting for their collective turns to perform.
Pretty little Baby Buffoons (AKA polchinelles) and the Pixies before their performance.
Beautiful pixie before the show.
Pickle, Little Bit and Hot Rod each got a Nutcracker as a souvenir of the day.
Granny & PaPa came to watch the show today. Pickle, Little Bit and Hot Rod enjoyed the day, too.
And, the ever-elusive Army of Mom is actually in a photo with the children. Wow. Three beautiful trophies I have for all of the hard work I've put into these wonderful children. I'm so proud of them.


Happy Birthday, Collin

Happy birthday to our favorite Mean Green basketball player. He came up big in the victory over Rice last week. This pic looks a bit like a mug shot. He's much cuter when he smiles. I just gotta imagine that hair toussling thing he does when he's playing. Pretty cute. But, I digress. Happy birthday!


Pretty Pixie

My favorite Pixie from the Nutcracker. Is that precious or what? I couldn't manage to get my dragon tail in a picture. He was done before I could see him last night and tonight he was super sick and missed his rehearsal. We even had paramedics at the house. Yippee. Hot Rod developed some sort of allergic reaction and broke out in a giant rash and then couldn't breathe. Was really scary. He's fine now. *shrug* Hopefully he'll be able to do his part Friday and this weekend. Never a dull moment in our home.


Gone Camping

Hat tip to The Peaceful Knitter for her very cute sign that I stole. I have spent the past five days working myself into a tizzy to get ready to be gone for three days/two nights. So, I got three days' worth of newsletters done for my new full-time job. Yea me! I got the house straightened up. Little Bit's clothes sorted out and her pigsty of a room in order. Got Hot Rod packed. Got me packed. Got the limited Christmas decorations up. We went and bought a tree and got it up (no lights or decorations yet, I'm hoping my parents and Army of Dad take pity on me and do that while I'm gone). Wish me luck as I chaperone the fifth-grade camping trip. I'm hoping I have a great bunch of girls in our cabin. Me and one other mom have nine girls to corral. Yikes. See ya later this week. We have Nutcracker dress rehearsal and performances this week, so I am probably down for the count for a while.


I'm really not a stalker

Had an unusual, but very pleasant day. My best buddy came down to hang out with me at a noon UNT Mean Green men's basketball game. She and Scrappy shared a moment. :)
I took out my new zoom lens today and gave it a try at the Super Pit. Not terrible. But, maybe I can work on things and learn a little more. I didn't take the time to edit these pics because I'm pressed for time with deadlines. But, if you get this pic big, you can see the outstanding evidence of Collin's time in the weight room *heart thumping*
One of his shots. I think he made 9 points even though the box score shows 7. It doesn't add up to 7.
Great shot of the coach talking with Collin.
Action shot of Collin getting hosed by the ref. Here, you see him planted. *my honey just looked at it and said, no, look, his leg is still moving. That might have really been a foul. *
And, the obvious charge - even though he got the blocking foul called on him. I yelled at the ref (again) for that.
Now, Collin did hack this dude. His first foul was the result of a pitiful call. This one, well, uh, er, ok, he fouled him.
He made both of his free throw attempts.
I think it looks like he's smiling here. ;) It is very much like my Hot Rod (who plays every sport with his tongue hanging out in concentration!)
This was one of my favorite pics of him angling for a look at the free throw attempt. And, I mean, really, it can't be called stalking when his mom talks to me and everything, right? Now, we just have to work on Collin not breathing on the opponents so hard. I mean, really. There are times that I think the refs just like calling fouls on someone wearing the No. 20 jersey. We could put it on anyone else and they'd still call fouls. Not that he doesn't deserve about 3/4 of them - his hustle earns him that many. But, some of them? Nope. Bad calls. That's my answer and I'm sticking with it.
*Extra note: The Mean Green will be on Fox Sports Network Monday 12/7 at 7 p.m. playing Texas A&M. (hat tip to Brandon for telling me) Not that I get to watch. I'll be chasing stinky 10-year-olds on the annual fifth-grade camping trip.