Army of Mom

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


Happy Anniversary

Yep, today is our 12th wedding anniversary and we will celebrate by spending the day on the baseball fields with our two youngest children.

Thank you for the past dozen years. I love you, Army of Dad.


Lake Conroe & La Torretta del Lago

Professional writers don't get paid that much, so it is always nice when we can work a deal to take advantage of some wonderful accomodations or recreation in exchange for covering the event/location/etc. I managed to benefit from one such deal at La Torretta del Lago Resort on Lake Conroe last weekend. It worked out well in that I can write about the place for a couple of different media outlets and get a nice swanky getaway with my honey in anticipation of our 12th anniversary (which is this coming Saturday). This shot shows the hotel tower. We were on the 17th floor overlooking the water park and pool area (which is just on the other side of the wrought iron fencing at the bottom of the picture).
Here was our view from our room. That body of water is Lake Conroe. I took the kids here in August and we lived in the water park during that visit. We had hoped to make it to one of the two hot tubs, but it was soooo cold by Saturday that I wasn't venturing outside without a parka.
Our weather Friday was incredible - in the 70s and lovely. By Saturday morning, a cold front blew in and it was bone chilling at that point. But, the flowers outside the conference center were still lovely.
Here we are in our room after dinner at the wonderful Chez Roux. It was so incredible. I never drink wine, but managed three glasses during the two-hour meal which included great dishes like a cheese and corn souffle as an appetizer. Then, I had a wonderful steak and potato gnocchi. OMG. The gnocchi was so absolutely incredible. I started to ask if they could fix me a large plate of it with the tasty sauce that was part of the meal. Mmmmmmm. So good. Army of Dad enjoyed his meal as much or more than I did. He had a decadent pear ice cream and something else, but he was in heaven.
On Friday, I arranged a special belated Valentine's combined with early anniversary gift for Army of Dad: a guided fishing trip. It was beautiful out on the lake and he was in heaven. Unfortunately, the fish just weren't biting like we had hoped. I think I jinxed us by bringing two coolers with us.
The sun was shining off and on, too, making for a lovely afternoon on the lake. We boated over to Wolfie's for lunch. I had never done that - pull a boat up to the dock, hop off and eat lakeside. I have to say, I could get used to that lifestyle. I'm sure that is music to Army of Dad's ears as he loves the water.
Here is our fishing guide, Chris Edwards. Oh my. Ladies, if you HAVE to go fishing with your honey, this is the way to go. Gorgeous. Yes, with the capital G. Very cute. The eyes. Oh my, the eyes on this guy. Yep. I was just fine floating around while they fished.
Although the experience did make Army of Dad want a boat.
The fisherman in him was out and about. He lives for this stuff.
And, eventually, he caught a hybrid and everyone rejoiced. I think I freaked Chris out a bit by my off-color remarks comparing the fishing guide experience to prostitution, though. Yeah, I have a tendency to let loose some tacky remarks now and then. I know you're all shocked.
But, the coup de gras of the day came when I reeled in a catfish at the end of the night. Thankfully, Chris hooked it for me, but I had to wrestle the thing to the boat - the men insisted that I do it.
The drive back home from the resort was a nice one with parts of it taking us through the Sam Houston National Forest. Beautiful scenery. Then, we had to come home. Back to reality. But, you know what? My reality isn't too bad. I certainly had a wonderful weekend at the resort.

So many things to post

And so little time.

I'm swamped with work. I don't think I've gotten more than five hours of sleep in the past week. Ok, on our anniversary getaway weekend, I did ok, but other than that - not so much.

But, I digress. I have LOTS of pictures to post from visting Oklahoma City to the UNT and Gators NCAA Tournament game pics to our Lake Conroe getaway weekend pics.

They'll get here eventually. For now, I have to WORK WORK WORK.


One more funny thing before I go back to work. I don't turn too many heads any more. I think is the whole married mom thing. But, I find it interesting that my exes like to flirt with me - still. Sometimes 20+ years later. What's up with that?



I'm always disappointed when my government makes bad decisions. It is even worse when it is going to impact every single aspect of our lives. Mark my words, the country won't topple in a day, but unfortunately, this measure WILL force many large (and small) companies to start laying off people because they can't afford (or choose not to) pay for their healthcare. This is sooo going to backfire on the original goals. I'll happily eat my words if it turns out otherwise, but I don't think I'm wrong.

Neither does the Wall Street Journal think I'm incorrect. I'm just so frustrated. It is clear that people chose to stick their fingers in their ears or cover their eyes than to read the writing on the wall. Yes, it is a lovely idea to guarantee health care to the population. I'm all for that. As a matter of fact, I think we have a pretty decent system in place. I haven't encountered anyone who didn't get treatment for dire needs because of their inability to pay. Isn't that was John Peter Smith and the Parkland hospital systems provide? I don't think I've ever encountered a gunshot victim rolled back out into the parking lot because he wasn't insured. Same for someone with H1N1 or whatever you want to pull out.

I'm sure there are horror stories people can pull out. Unfortunately, we can always find them - just like the many we see in Canada and the UK from people who were victims of socialized medicine and died waiting for treatment.

Well, America, you asked for change and now you've gotten it. Gee thanks for dragging me and mine along with you. I guess we should look at it this way, if you like the post office or DMV, you'll love our new ObamaCare.


Sic 'em, Bears!

My beloved Mean Green and Army of Dad's Gators both lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. But, we did get to watch both games (most of the Gators game and its double OT) and all of the Mean Green. That was really exciting. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed our time in OKC.

Now, AoD and I are enjoying our early anniversary weekend getaway. We fished the day away on Friday on Lake Conroe and had a buffet breakfast this morning. I got a massage *yea* and now we're heading over the cocktail emporium of the resort. Tonight? We get to dine at "crown jewel" of the resort at its lakeside restaurant.

Sunday, its back to reality and back home. Yuck. But, the past few days have been great!

Cheering on my Baylor Bears today in hopes they make the Sweet 16.



My little karate champion advanced to a junior second degree purple belt last week.
It is funny to see her belt under her gi. Little silly girl.
The whole bowing thing is too cute when she does it. Of course, I think pretty much all she does is cute.


Going to OKC

Sunday, we spent a few hours hanging out at the Pourhouse in Denton with the most avid Mean Green basketball team fans. Everyone was waiting anxiously to see if UNT would play in Oklahoma City or New Orleans. Anywhere else and there wouldn't be too many fans going to The Dance. The players were waiting anxiously as the tournament announcements started.
The coaches and athletic director were a little anxious, too.
Scrappy, of course, is good for our nerves. He's actually featured in an ESPN News commercial for March Madness. They had a shot of him making a "snow angel" with the confetti during the SBC championship celebration.
Little Bit amidst the pretty girls.
And, the team gets the news they're going to OKC to face No. 2 seed Kansas State.
My favorite player and his wonderful parents. These are some of the sweetest people I've met. And, they're such a good looking family. I mean, like cover of Family Living good looking. Gees.
And, he's going to kill me for this. He refuses to smile for pictures, but when Little Bit picked up a camera to take his photo, he couldn't help but smile for her. I love it. Soooo cute. And, I got the bonus farewell - a hug from both Mangrum men at the same time. My heart almost stopped beating. Army of Dad told me to wipe the drool off my chin. :)
And, yeah, I made him laugh. Maybe not as much as Army of Dad's taunts and jeers at the refs. Collin admitted that he has to fight a chuckle when AoD goes to town on the refs and other teams.

And, the family pic with our favorite Eagle. We were missing Pickle. :(


Welcome home, SBC Champs!

This picture came from the local paper. I love the celebration shots. These guys are sooo happy. But, the best part to me is that Collin is smiling in a photograph! The man won't smile to save his life in a picture even though he's so damned cute it gives me cavities. I can't help but grin and blush when I look at that boy. But, this picture just makes my heart swell with pride for these guys who have worked so hard and come so far - to the Dance. Can't wait for the NCAA announcement on Sunday. I really want to go to a game. We're hoping they get Oklahoma City or New Orleans for a location to play.
Another shot of Collin smiling as he gets off the bus to the greeting from teammate Kedrick Hogans, who I guess didn't make the trip because of his injuries this season. What a shame. He's such a big part of the team.

This is such a precious picture. You can just see the affection Coach Jones has for his superstar and how much Josh wants to crawl under a rock like "aww, coach, come on, stop rubbing my head."
I love Hot Rod's expression in this one. He could not believe how tall George Odufuwa is. There is a reason why he's such a good rebounder, kiddo!
George getting interviewed by local ABC sports guy, George Riba.
Collin getting interviewed by the DRC. He is the only member of this team who played in the 2007 NCAA tournament when he was a freshman (he was red-shirted last year because of injuries). I still can't figure out how this reporter took notes holding his notebook that hight. I mean, wouldnt' your pen run out of ink? And, the reporter must be pretty tall, too, since Collin is like 6'5. Yeahhhh, 6 feet and 5 inches of beautiful young man with those pouty lips ... tousled hair blowing in the wind ... wait, what was I saying again? Yes, yes. He played back in 2007 when the team faced Memphis (which was ranked No. 1 or 2 at the time). UNT hung with them really well in the first half, but couldn't keep it up. But, they made a great showing. We welcomed them team back home then, too.
The spirited maintenance guy (at least I think thats his job) at the Super Pit. He was always fun at the basketball games doing the moonwalk with Scrappy.
UNT star point guard Josh White with the kids. Yeahhhh, he's 5'10. Uh-huh. Pickle is 5'2. So, yeahhhh. *winking* He's 5'10. But, you know what? Doesn't friggin' matter. The dude is awesome with the rock.
Pickle, Scrappy and the self-choking guy (seriously, he looks like he having some sort of issue back there).
And, fan favorite Collin Mangrum. Every time he does something awesome, the radio guys and the local DRC reporter will call him "Fan Favorite Collin Mangrum." And, he is. The crowd loves it when the white boy steals the ball, makes a fast break and slams it down or lays it up gently. He was sweet to stop for a second and talk to the kids and give his Cougar Crush the thrill of her day. I didn't get just one, but TWO Mangrum hugs. Oh yeah, uh-huh, *dancing a little jig.* Yep. I can cross that one off my to-do list now. The hug, that is. *wink*
Sunday, we'll be at the Pourhouse (or wherever they finally decide it will be) for the NCAA announcement watching party.
P.S. Little Bit has her Flat Stanley in all the pics, too. She wanted sooo badly for Collin to hold her Flat Stanley for a photo. And, Hot Rod's hero worship for him continues to grow. I still think he grew his hair out so he could toss it like Collin while he runs down the court.



WOO HOO!!! Mean Green wins the Sun Belt Conference Championship! What a game!!! *pic stolen from MeanGreenSports*

We're going to the dance baby!!!!

Please NCAA, let them play Thursday March 18 in OKC. We can make that game!!!

Mean Green MoJo

Photo is courtesy of MeanGreenSports. But, its Collin dunking. *sigh* I love everything you hear on the radio or read on the DRC blog - they call him a "fan favorite." He really is for more people than just me and my Cougar Crush. Seriously. My family think he's da bomb. :) The kids love watching him. I think Hot Rod wants to be just like him. Cracks me up to watch Hot Rod crash the boards and do the Collin Mangrum signature flick-the-hair-out-of-my-eyes move. Good grief. He really does it like his idol. :) And, the fans do go wild when he does something spectacular. We've been watching this guy for three (he was red-shirted one year) years playing his heart out. Hustle from start to finish. We've watched him battle injuries and keep on going out there and doing his best. In his truly first healthy season, it is excitement. This guy gets on the court and you can see how badly he wants it in his eyes. He is instant energy. I've wanted to pull Coach Jones aside from time to time and tell him to put Collin in for some momentum change. The boy will MAKE things happen when he hits the court. He is instant energy on the court.

Ok, enough enough enough. I can't wait for 6 p.m. to get here. C'mon Mean Green!!! Beat Troy and make another trip to the NCAA tournament!!!!


UNT won and they play in the Sun Belt Conference championship game tonight at 6 p.m. (I think on ESPN 2) If they win - NCAA Tournament bound!!!! I'm working today in a green button-down with my UNT earrings! Gotta keep the mojo going.

C'mon guys!!!


Beyond Offensive

I'm all about dark humor. I mean, tomorrow The Boondock Saints' All Saints Day comes out. That is a black comedy/action/adventure type movie and the premise is pretty dark - two brothers kill bad guys in a righteous effort to rid the world of these criminals. Ok, killing in the name of God and then saying a prayer when you execute someone - dark. Yes. Funny? Oh hell yes. (pun intended)

But, when I see Abe the Aborted Fetus trade paperback book, I thought I was going to throw up. That is beyond distasteful. It is obscene.

"Obscene" speech is "unprotected" speech as ruled by the Supreme Court. "Unprotected speech," means speech that does not enjoy First Amendment protection and may even be criminal to express. In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . "

This quote, and the intent behind it, is well known as summarizing the irony and difficulty in trying to define obscenity. For at least fifty years, the Supreme Court has been struggling with defining what speech is obscene, according to Judith Silver at

For me, it is offensive, obscene, disgusting - you name it. They're poking fun at a baby created by two people and then tossed away like the day's supper leftovers down the garbage disposal.

I'm appalled and sickened and very angry at Facebook for thinking this would be an ad that I would be interested by. It actually popped up on my Facebook profile page in the ads on the side. "Resistance is fetal" the headline read. Really? You're going to use my beloved Star Trek to promote your disgusting effort to entertainment? What-the-eff-ever. I almost didn't write this post because I don't want to give this piece of crap any publicity, but it deserves to be ridiculed and exhibited for its twisted efforts. Gross, guys. And, let me just say that karma is a bitch. I'm not sure how this will turn around and bite you on the ass, but let me assure you, it will. Just the way the world works. I firmly believe when we do something stupid like this, it comes back at you ten-fold. I almost feel sorry for these creator-schmucks.

I said, almost.


How 'bout those Eagles?


Mean Green wins! Mean Green wins! I can't freaking believe it!!! Come from behind. We had to close the door not to wake the kids up with our screams during the game!!!

Oh gees. I am not sure how long it will take me to relax before I can crash for the night! WOW!!!!! They play again Monday night. I think that game will be on TV. Oh gees. I'm sooooo excited!!!!

C'mon Mean Green

Aw man, not far into the game and UNT isn't starting off too well. C'mon guys! You can listen on KNTU and watch live stats on the Mean Green blog.


Score: Mom, 0, Kid, 1

Came home this afternoon from picking up the kids after school and we see that the next door neighbor is getting a new roof put on. One of the roofers was standing on top of the house watching us as we pulled into our driveway.

Hot Rod: Why is he staring at us?

AoM: *joking* Maybe he thinks your mom is hot.

Hot Rod: No, that can't be it.


Kata Champion

Pickle won his first kata competition Sunday after several years of trying. He did a great job and was really proud of himself.
Of course, with the exception of a time or two when he messed up and had to start over, I've always thought he did a good job.
But, this was the first time he didn't have this one judge (who has obviously not been one of Pickle's best fans). I think it made the difference in him going from finishing in the bottom of the group to being the top winner.
He was judged fairly and he stepped up. I am very proud of him. I think this is what he needed to get him fired up about karate again. He's been doing it since he was about 9 or 10 and I think he was getting a little burned out. So, maybe this will encourage him.
His siblings were excited for him and were cheering loudly.
And, that smile couldn't get much bigger. Neither could the trophy!

Sparring Champion

Little Bit won another karate tournament on Saturday. She is a spitfire. I love her feet off the ground here.

She knocked her opponent off her feet twice. It was sort of sad.
They were pretty evenly matched, but Little Bit's go-get-'em attitude won out, I think.
And, this picture broke my heart. Her opponent looks so dejected here. Bless her little heart. Stinkerbelle was very happy to win, but felt sort of bad for the gal she beat, especially after she saw the picture. Although it didn't make her less glad she won. :)