Monday, March 31, 2008

Blogging's Good For Your Health

I don't need any justification, but if I did, here it is...

Stop looking on the's's above this sentence.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

14.6 pounds

There are 14.6 fewer pounds of me in the world today. At Weight Watchers, every time you reach a 5 pound mark, you get a sticker to put on your bookmark. These tiny little stickers are what motivate me to order chili and Minute Maid Light Lemonade instead of a single cheeseburger, fries and large Dr. Pepper when I take my kids to Wendy's and stare longingly at their kids' meals.

When I weighed in this morning, I was wearing a hoodie because somebody forgot to tell the weather in KC that spring has arrived. The lady who weighed me in asked if I wanted to take off my sweatshirt since it probably weighs a pound or more. Unfortunately I didn't have a shirt underneath so I declined. That's actually a good thing since the delayed gratification of having to wait until next week for another sticker will help keep me on the straight and narrow for the next 7 days.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Focus Group = Dinner Out Tonight!

I discovered focus groups years ago when I signed up with a company called Fieldwork Phoenix. Since that time, I have earned money by giving my opinion about BBQ sauce, participating in a mock jury and other stuff I can't remember. Jacob even earned a video and $50 for watching a Rubbadubbers cartoon and giving his opinion about it when he was 3 or 4 years old. It was pretty horrible, by the way.

I moved to KC, somebody told me that I should sign up with Hallmark to participate in their studies since the corporate headquarters is located here. I did and sure enough, I got picked for a focus group and made an easy $80 today for just two hours of my time. This was the most lucrative and also the funnest (is that a real word?) focus group I've done so far. I can't tell you what we talked about because I've been sworn to secrecy and if I told you, I'd have to kill you.

I got
tagged by Wende to tell "Our Love Story", but before I do, I need to find the cord to my scanner so I can insert pix from the dating phase (definitely pre-digital). Check back and hopefully I'll get to it this weekend.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


These pictures are actually from the day before Easter. I didn't do such a great job with the camera today. It was a great Easter, right down to dinner with entertainment provided by Adam. The Easter Bunny brought CDs for the boys; Kidz Bop 13 for Jacob and Alvin & the Chipmunks for Adam. While we waited to start dinner, Adam announced that he "had to get something" and ran upstairs to return with his CD player. He plugged it in right next to the table and popped in Alvin & the Chipmunks, for our listening enjoyment. I think the Christmas songs were my favorite.

Spring Break, Part Two

*Because I have a brother, I always have a friend.

*I borrowed this great line from the Uppercase Living Idea Catalog. Curious? If so, click HERE, then choose Customer Corner Login and register using Brandi's Demonstrator ID: 750516 and Registration Token: Smith

Guitar Heroes

Jacob woke up at 2am this morning and was so excited about the Easter Bunny coming that he couldn't go back to sleep until 6am. This would explain why I am so sleepy and this post is so short. Wichita was relaxing and fun. We played Guitar Hero, LEGO Star Wars, bounced on a trampoline, played outside in the sunshine, hung out with great friends, saw penguins at the zoo, ate pizza and went rollerskating.

By the way, Brandi, when your little K-man is feeling better, could you send me some pix of the roller boys?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Brandi, Tim, Kadyn & Kamden

The "How You Live" song track isn't working again so I'm giving a shout out to my Dad by putting his favorite song back in the #1 position. Enjoy the tunes Dad!

The boys and I are driving to Wichita this morning to visit the Smiths for a couple of days. We're hoping to go to the zoo because Wichita has one of the best. Brandi and I met about 11 years ago when Willie and I lived in Wichita. We worked together at Koch Industries with some really great people in the Recruiting department. I have such fond memories of this time of my life. We worked some long hours, but we always managed to have a good time. Brandi, remember throwing Skittles over the top of the cubes and hitting Jim Mason on the head while he was talking on the phone? Peter Heyer (need I say more, other than just mentioning his name)?!! Going to Tanner's after work and sneaking the shot glasses out in our purses? The Safety Dance? Deciding where to go for lunch every day was an adventure we looked forward to?

I am so blessed to have a BFF like Brandi. She is kind, loyal, supportive, generous and very fun to hang out with. Back in the old days, neither one of us had kids, but now we both have two boys. Kadyn, (almost 8) & Kamden (almost 3) are now my boys' BFFs. Not to be forgotten is Tim, Brandi's husband. Tim is the icing on the cake to this friendship. You know how sometimes you have friends you adore, but you could pretty much take or leave the spouse? Well, that is not the case with Tim. He is one of the funniest, nicest guys I've ever met. He's also a great Dad who loves playing with his kids and what's not to love about that?


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Break, Part One

These are my boys with the girls from next door. They went swimming with us on Saturday. Anybody foresee trouble in our future with these cuties living so close by?!!

we went to Dave & Buster's, but I forgot my camera. We also did a little shopping at one of my favorite stores, Gap Outlet. Afterward, Willie asked the boys if they wanted to get ice cream or coffee. Adam chose coffee. At least we ordered decaf...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Old Man Winter Isn't Done With Us Yet

This is what we woke up to on this fine March morning. Remember the river being built in the sandbox? It is now a snowy gulch. Looks like Jacob will have to pack those shorts away for another day.

I forgot to
mention yesterday that we have officially begun SPRING BREAK!!! For months, we have been dreaming about, talking about and surfing the internet for the perfect Spring Break family destination. We have talked about it so much that when one of Jacob's friends asked him where we were going for spring break, Jacob answered, "I'm not sure, but it's going to be either a beach or a cruise". Willie and I both happened to be present for this exchange so we looked at each other in amazement and tried not to bust out laughing because the truth is, we are not leaving the state of Kansas. Guess we forgot to explain that to our children.

While I am
a little sad that our plans didn't materialize, it is for good reason and I am not complaining. Remember how I said that Willie is very private? Well, he wouldn't let me do a proud post about his new job so if you want details, you'll have to ask him. The new job starts this week, which means Willie is out of commission for Spring Break. Our new plan is called "Tour de KC & Wichita". With that in mind, today we are trying to decide between seeing a movie, "Horton Hears a Who", swimming at an indoor pool, or Kaleidoscope. I'm leaning toward the pool. Doesn't it look like fun?


Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring is in the Air!

The lemonade is free and so are the cookies,
but as the sign says,
"Donations are optional"!
Sidenote: The reason Adam looks mad
in this picture is that I had just caught
him trying to pee in the bushes out front
and made him go inside to use the "proper facilities"!

Planting canna bulbs with Peanut's supervision
Yes, Peanut is STILL alive & kickin';
he's over 14 years old now.
He probably went back inside and peed on the carpet
shortly after this picture was taken, just to taunt Willie.

Last fall, Willie & Adam dug up the canna bulbs and stored them in the basement. It was amazing to see how much they had multiplied. By next fall, when they dig them up again, they will have multiplied even more and we'll have lots to share. If you are local and want some, let me know. Wait till you see how huge and beautiful these things are.

No, it's not really warm enough for shorts and bare feet,
but that never stops Jacob.
In an effort to not look like the worst
Mom in the neighborhood,
I did ask him to change out of the
tank top he originally had on.
I mean, come on, it's not even 60 degrees outside!

Making a river in the sandbox

Sowing their wild oats and breaking the
"2 people on the trampoline at a time" rule!
What's a cracked head or two amongst friends?!!!

Look out Tiger Woods; here comes the Adam-Bomb!

My day lilies are starting to poke their heads out of the ground.
Now, if I can just keep the rabbits and squirrels from eating them. I think I'm going to try fox urine this year. No joke, it's really supposed to work!

Experiencing the season changes is one of my favorite things about living in the midwest. Spring is always a big hit, and that is especially true after the winter we've had this year. Today it is beautiful outside, but in true Kansas fashion, there is a chance of snow tomorrow morning.

for neglecting the blog. I can't be taken for granted, you know! I think I've kept you all in suspense long enough. My big news is that I got a new job! I am going to be a 4 year-old preschool teacher at LUMC Preschool. I gave my notice at the school district, but I'll probably stay until the end of the school year since I don't start my new job until fall. I'm a little nervous about this new part-time career choice, but I've been teaching preschool classes at church on a volunteer basis for a long time and I've had lots of great mentoring. Hopefully the Lord has prepared me well and I'll be a blessing to the children and families. My heart is really in this, and it should be, because I'm certainly not doing it for all the money I'll be making!

One more update...when I went to Phoenix back in February, I got a little off track with my weight loss efforts. I didn't gain, but I didn't lose for several weeks. I finally, guiltily dragged myself back to Weight Watchers this week and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had lost a little bit more weight for a grand total of 11.1 pounds! I didn't make my exercise goal last week so no pedicure...but, I'm not letting that get me down. I'm back on track, exercising and eating healthy again.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Name Game

I copied this fun game from Shauna's blog because I love my Nascar name (see #7)!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet, current car): Terry Sienna
2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Pralines n' Cream Flip Flop
3. YOUR NATIVE AMERICAN NAME (favorite color, favorite animal): Blue Dog
4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, city where you were born): Denise Las Vegas
5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Ramai
6. SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Green Dr. Pepper (I swear I didn't copy you Shauna; you already know I LOVE Dr. Pepper!)
7. NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers): Elton John - My Nascar name rocks!
8. STRIPPER NAME (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Amarige Kit Kat (Oh yeah, that's a good one too!)
9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Gallagher Gilbert (Gallagher might have been 6th grade. I have a rotten memory. Cheri?)
10. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Autumn Daisy
11. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing rightnow): Pineapple Slippers
12. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Pineapple Protein Shake Pine

Feel free to address me by any of these names, but preferably Elton John or Denise Las Vegas!

I have news to post in the next day or so...stay tuned (and no Cathy, I am not pregnant!).


Monday, March 3, 2008

Willpower, don't fail me now!

~The elliptical machine I LOVE to HATE!~

~Piece of Art, Picture Frame Thingy~

Shellie from Get Strong. Stay Strong. had a great idea. She suggested setting a goal this week and rewarding ourselves if we are successful. My goal is going to be NOT to cancel either of my two work-out sessions with Bridget this week and to squeeze in at least one work-out on my own between now & Friday on our elliptical machine. This probably doesn't sound too difficult, but I have the willpower of Jello when it comes to working out. My reward is going to be a pedicure. I really need to achieve this goal. My toes are begging for some attention. They feel neglected. No, seriously, it's been over three years!

In addition
to exercising some willpower when it comes to exercising and eating better, I have also been trying for a while now to exercise (why does that dreaded word keep popping up?) more restraint when it comes to shopping and impulse purchases. The other day I went to One Stop Decorating to FINALLY order a curtain rod for our family room and I saw the awesome piece of art, picture frame thingy or whatever you want to call it that is posted above. Oh man, I wanted it bad. They offered to take it right down off the wall and load it up for me, but I said, "NO"! I did however, take this picture, hoping to convince Willie that it is the perfect focal piece for some unknown destination in our house (FAT CHANCE!).

By the
way, and this is totally off topic, the reason I don't say a lot about the love of my life, Willie, is because he is very private and blog-shy. I think he lives in terror of me revealing some really personal thing about him on my blog. Hard to believe, I know, but sometimes I am kind of an open book.