Army of Mom

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


Sandy Claus Came to See Us

We just got back from a balmy beach holiday in Florida. It was lovely and now I'm missing dipping my toes in the sand as it is chilly in North Texas. I will have much to say and lots of pictures to post, but here are some fun family photos taken on Christmas Eve on the beach.

These are all the grandkids on Army of Dad's side of the family. It is the first time he has been home for Christmas since 1997! And, it is the first time that all four of his brother/sisters (including him) have been together for Christmas ever. I promise ... more pictures to come!


Merry Christmas!

We love our UNT men's basketball team, so what better way to mark the holidays than with the tiny basketball tree with the basketball skirt.

Enjoy your holidays. May your Christmas be blessed and your New Year filled with good fortune.


Merry Christmas Eve

I "borrowed" my daughter's penguin apron (a gift from my awesome SIL a few years back) on Thanksgiving and found myself hard at work making orange butter from a recipe another SIL gave me.

Here it is for all to enjoy:

1/4 cup of frozen orange juice undiluted
1 1/3 sticks of butter
one box of powdered sugar
Beat with a mixer and voila. Tasty orange butter for your holiday rolls. It's especially good on croissants!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas, Y'all

Pictures taken at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine inspired some Christmas cheer.


Must See TV

Anyone else see the irony in The Election of Barack Obama being on the channel next to The Invention of Lying?


Jingle Bells

And, yes, his school bell choir plays Jingle Bells. I gotta get the videos uploaded on here for festive reasons. He looks thrilled in this shot, though, huh? :)


Happy Holidays

From Tinkerbell and Speed Racer. The kids enjoyed a fall festival back in October at at local church. The petting zoo was the biggest attraction for my animal-loving kiddos. Fortunately, Hot Rod was not there to want to hunt them!


Pretty Little Bit

And, now for your viewing pleasure: Little Bit's school performance.
 She loves to perform.
And, that grin is something else.
And, yet another karate tournament victory
And, Little Bit, in the red helmet on her first place victory. The body language is a little sad with the little girl she defeated, too. Poor sweetie. But, my child was beaming!


Happy Hunting

Thankfully, all of my Christmas shopping is done. So, any hunting going on at our house is done on the lakes right now. Here is Hot Rod and Army of Dad with the mallard my hubby shot a few weeks back.

Happy hunting at the malls or in the wilderness to you!


My brush with greatness

I really do get to do the coolest stuff for my job. I covered the groundbreaking for the Bush Presidential Library at SMU a few weeks back and I was surrounded by greatness. I chatted with former White House communications director Ari Fleischer (here with my laptop!!!). How cool was that? I got to ask him some questions, too. Very cool.
Here is Pres. Bush and the First Lady and former Commerce Secretary Don Evans during the prayer before the event started. It was just so remarkable to be around all these people. Condi Rice and former VP Dick Cheney were also among the speakers. It was so cool. I'm also excited to see that the library will include a foundation that is focused on women's rights. There is a great site with all the information on the initiatives at the official site. But, I was proud of some of the pictures that I was able to take and the coverage.


Truth in the Ladies Room

It looks like there is wit and wisdom on the ladies room wall at Twisted Root near SMU. I found this one (on the wall in the stall where I had to, uh, er, go) to be particularly illuminating as Army of Dad is 7.5 years younger than me.
This one ... well, it's just self-explanatory.
And, the secret behind energy drinks finally revealed.


Merry Collin-mas!

We celebrated Collinmas on Saturday with my parents by opening gifts and then attending a UNT men's basketball game that evening. What is Collinmas, you ask? It's when we all mark the celebrated birth of that hubba hubba honey of a man, Collin Mangrum. He marked his birthday on Dec. 11 and though far apart, we all felt the joy of the occasion. Hot Rod (here with Collin last month after an SMU game) came up with the naming of the holiday last year when we started our new tradition of a UNT basketball tree. He said we should celebrate Collinmas and keep it in our hearts. :) So, the tradition was born. And, while Collin left UNT and defected to SMU, we still love him regardless.
We had a chance to meet SMU basketball Coach Matt Doherty, who was kind enough to visit here with Hot Rod and shake our hands, too.
And, while he's No. 1 in our hearts, he is also No. 1 for SMU. He had his very own Collin Mangrum Fan Club with me, Army of Dad and Hot Rod. The other two kids were at relatives' homes and missed the festive event. We did do the wave for Collin and had the pleasure of sitting with his folks during the game.
Of course, these are but a few of the wonderful photos I took of him playing. I have a good with him tossing that mop of hair, too. *heart beating faster*
There was the obligatory muscled arm photo and him putting up a 3-pointer.
And, this one was just for me. I told his mom he was appeasing me for coming to the game by pretending to tie his shoe. This one's for you Mrs. AoM, he was thinking. I'm positive of that. He's gotta throw the old lady a bone for being the head cheerleader of his fan club.

Part of the Weekend

All these festivities were only part of our whirlwind weekend. *whew* I'd say I'm grateful to slow down a bit, but this week will be worse for me. I have to produce two full weeks of newsletters, so I can have a much needed holiday break. Alas, I can do it, but I might be grumpy. Anyway. Here is my folks with my three kids ... of course, someone isn't looking at the camera - my mom and the youngest.
Here we have my son the bell choir ringer. He is my renaissance fella. The bell choir is great at his school.
 A bedtime story from PaPa is always a good way to wrap up an evening.
The boy nabbed his first mallard on Saturday morning.
We had our Christmas gift exchange with my folks on Saturday, too. The kids were stoked.
And, Little Bit got a Build-a-Bear kit and was so excited to get to sew it up all by herself. Ok, with a little help from Granny. :) More holiday cuteness to come because there is just something about kids and Christmas that make me smile.

Wishing you a calm (and hiccup free) holiday

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished."

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates, and a half bottle of scotch.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

Pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace. *giggling* Hat tip to my friend, KR.


Best Santa Ever

My sweet Little Bit was so happy to the REAL Santa on Friday at the local bank branch. She has seen this same Santa Claus since she was a toddler and he is so delightful. He is so sweet and she just loves him. She run right over to hug him.

Then, she was amazed and convinced that he's the REAL Santa when he used a bit of magic to turn her nose red like Rudolph.
And, I was so pleased that my boys agreed to take a photo with Santa. With a 16-year-old and a sixth-grader, I didn't think it would happen. And, did you notice? They're all smiling! No one has a goofy look. I'm shocked.


A Walk in My Shoes

It seems like some people lead charmed lives. Then, there are others who seem to get more than their fair share of (no nice way to say it) crap. One of the nicest ladies (with one of the cruddiest hands dealt) is Kelly over at Jenelle's Journey. Not only has she dealt bravely for the past 8+ years with her daughter's severe epilepsy and disabilities, but she found herself diagnosed with leukemia last year on top of everything else. Nothing has been easy for her, but her demeanor remains sunny and bright. She is truly one of the most amazing women I've ever encountered in the blogosphere. I can't wait to meet her one day.

So, without further ado, Kelly is the winner of our Walmart and Proctor & Gamble's DVD/CD prize for A Walk in My Shoes giveaway.

Why? Well, I think she may have said it best last week on her blog. She traveled with her husband and son for a baseball tournament from California to Nevada. While there, her daughter suffered multiple seizures and ended up in the local ER courtesy of the local EMTs. Yet, despite the drama, she remains positive. She detailed what happened on her blog, but wrapped up the sad details with this:
I cannot believe the holidays are here, and with the weekend after Thanksgiving spent in Las Vegas watching baseball, I feel a little behind on things like decorating and Christmas cards. Speaking of Christmas, we were watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer tonight, and I couldn't help but think of Jenelle as Rudolph. A little different than the rest, but so much to give the world.

Wow. What an inspiration this woman is. Kelly, I hope you enjoy this little treat!