Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas from Sparkman High School Symphonic Bands

Last night was my son's high school Christmas Concert. It was fantastic. It's amazing how much a great band director can bring out the best in their students and we have TWO of them!!!

My son is in the larger of the two bands performing. The beginning of the video features our Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion groups. They are perfecting their shows for the upcoming Indoor Competition season and wanted to give us all a little sneak peak.

Without further is Sparkman High School's Symphonic I & II Christmas Concert.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where has the time gone?

It's December 10th already and only two weeks until Christmas! Guess I've just been that busy between subbing, band and life, in general.

We had a wonderful Christmas Party last night at our house. It's always great to get together with close friends. I suppose we could rename it Our Annual Chili Party because that's the main dish and everyone brings something to share. Oh, and I make my infamous rum know the one...the Bacardi recipe. I even cut back on the amount of rum in the glaze because, at full strength, it would put hair on your chest. It's always a hit and I should've sent some home with everyone because we still have 1/2 of it left.

But I have one question...

Why do we always end up hanging out in the kitchen?

Not that I mind...I just think it's interesting that it's where we all end up.

So, where do y'all hang out when you host parties?

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for this year...our family, health, home, surviving first semester of college. We hope that you're spending it with the ones who mean the most to you.

From our home to yours...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sparkman High School Marching Senators

They are AWESOME!!!

Here are the results from our marching competitions last Saturday (10/8/11). Yes, I said competitions...we participated in TWO. Needless to was a crazy, busy day, but so well worth it. The kids were AWESOME!

Dixie Pride Marching Classic (10/8/11)

1st Place Best in Class Band AAAA
1st Place Best in Class Drum Majors AAAA
1st Place Best in Class Percussion AAAA
1st Place Best in Class Color Guard AAAA
Challenge Cup Winner in Class AAAA (an average of all captions)
Dixie Pride Champions Band (All Divisions)
Dixie Pride Champions Drum Majors (All Divisions)
Dixie Pride Champions Percussion (All Divisions)
Dixie Pride Champions Color Guard (All Divisions)
Superior ratings in all categories including Drum Major, Color Guard, Percussion, Guard and Band.

Renaissance City Shoals Invitational Marching Competition (10/8/11)

1st Place Band, Percussion, Guard and Drum Major in Class AAAAA-2
Grand Champion Large Band Division
W.C. Handy Award (an average of all captions in all divisions)
Best Soloist Award: David Dickson
Superior ratings in all categories including Drum Major, Color Guard, Percussion, Guard and Band.

P.S. Yes, I'm just a wee bit biased.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome Fall!

My favorite season has finally arrived...

Crisp mornings and warm afternoons


Trees beginning to change

Chili/soup/stew in the crockpot

Life is good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's a little TOO quiet...

around here.

Hubby's on travel, C is on her way back to JSU and S is at SHS.

The house is eerily quiet.

Well...except for the washing machine running in the background.

It's very rare for me to have a day where there isn't anything pressing that needs to be done. So, I'm going to take a 'me' day. Not sure what I'm going to do, but it will not include cleaning or yard work.

Maybe I'll nap or'll be a good day for that since it's supposed to rain.

Maybe I'll watch a movie because heaven knows there's NOTHING good on daytime television.

Maybe I'll just cruise the interwebz (to quote my kids) for awhile.

Maybe I'll...

Whatever I choose to do, it'll be because I want to do it not because I have to.

Happy Monday, y'all!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

No words necessary

May we never forget

God bless all those who sacrificed their lives to help others on that fateful day.

We will never forget!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Claire survived her first weekend on campus and first day of classes!

What a relief!!!

She said her Human Geography professor works with National Geographic. How cool is that?!

Her Honors English professor is a 'smart-ass' (his words, not hers) and reminds her of Don Knotts. Too funny!!!

Just have a few roommate issues to work out, but I think she's going to have a wonderful time at JSU.

Go Gamecocks!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

T-minus 3 Days...

'til we move Claire to JSU.

My dining room resembles a small storage unit.

...her dorm fridge is out in the garage.

I'm so excited for her and this new chapter in her life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One more week...

til we move Claire to Jacksonville State University.

She and I went today to get her ID, books and parking decal. It was a beautiful drive down...can't wait to see it in all it's Fall glory.

Now, where's that tissue box?!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School v.2011

1st day of Junior year!

Scott and his 'new' car. He loves it! He was so excited to start the year, that he was ready 15 minutes early. I'm thrilled that he left early because school traffic in our community is a nightmare, especially these first couple of weeks.

Off he goes...

He made it to school safely. Whew!!! Now, I can relax and get on with my day.

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC 2011-2012 school year!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm ready...

for the next phase in my life!

Move in day is August 26th.

25 days and counting...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's that time of year...

gearing up for school (college and high school) and marching season.

Have I mentioned how big our band is this year???

We are marching 227 strong.

Thank goodness I'm only outfitting 181.

Funny thing is...F3 day (forms, fee and fittings) was this past Saturday and we had to send 15-ish freshmen home without being fitted for their marching uniforms.

Why, you ask?

I have plenty of uniforms, just not in the correct sizes. Many of the uniforms on hand are teeny tiny!

I placed an order in late May for 30 additional coats, bibbers and shakos with the hope that they would be here by our first game. The manufacturer always gives the worst case scenario, but receiving an order confirmation with an estimated delivery date of October 28th has me FREAKING OUT! I know that it's out of my control now, but really...October 28th...our marching season is over that weekend.

I'm praying that everything arrives within the first couple of games.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Surviving F3 Day

As most of you know, my youngest is a member of his high school's band (marching and concert). Today was what is known as F3 day (form, fees and fittings), where the students and their parents come to finalize their commitment to the SHS Band.

Let's suffice it to say that all went well until the freshmen came to be fitted for uniforms for marching season.

Both the Band Director and I knew that there would not be enough proper fitting uniforms for everyone. We ordered based on the incoming numbers and current size needs. The one thing we didn't plan on was how big, both size and number, the incoming freshmen class is.

Upon reviewing the order that I submitted in early June, we will have enough properly sized uniforms at some point this season. Unfortunately, the lead time for uniforms is a minimum 120 days. Based on previous experience, uniforms have come in well before our first game. I'm sincerely hoping and praying that this is the case this season as well. The issue at hand is the fact that I don't have control over when the orders are submitted after I send them to my 'contact'. My 'contact' hasn't been the most reliable lately and I'm starting to get very concerned whether or not my uniforms will be here when promised. As it is, the band's sashes MIGHT be here before Fall Break, which is October 17-21.

I was told the other day that last year went so smoothly and that all the parents were sufficiently impressed. I don't think it's going to be the same this year, especially since we had to send 15 students home without fitting them for uniforms.

My thinking is...the upperclassmen come first and then the freshmen. I had more than one parent get upset with me because of the way their child's uniform fit. I explained politely that the Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores have priority when it comes to uniforms and the freshmen take what's left. Many were not pleased, but that's the way it is. The freshmen parents also didn't want to hear that when the new uniforms come in the upperclassmen will be given first opportunity at them and they (freshmen) will be given what's left over. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Get over it. Another issue is parents who are HABITUALLY late for 'appointments' and then think it's okay to bitch about how their child has an ill-fitting uniform. up during your appointed time and you might receive a better fitting uniform.

I just needed to'll all work out. Right now, I and my team are just a little overwhelmed.

Time for a margarita!!!

Saying a Prayer!

Offering up prayers and condolences to the families affected by the brutal attacks in Norway.

Unfortunately, it brings back BAD memories of September 11, 2001.

I sincerely hope the man who wreaked this havoc upon Norway gets what he deserves.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let Freedom Ring!!!

Happy Birthday, America!

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wait just a darn minute...

it's July...


It's been a little busy around here.

*Beach trip...much needed relaxation, just wish it could've been longer.

*College orientation with my daughter at Jacksonville State...and I didn't cry!

*Daughter had wisdom teeth removed...hmmm...wonder if it'll affect her GPA

*Vehicle shopping for son...very frustrating because we know what we want but are having difficulty finding it at a price we want to pay.

*Trying to get my to-do list whittled down...having a hard time getting motivated because I'd much rather laze about and read.

*Getting organized for upcoming marching season...Lordy, I'm crazy!

*Helping to get daughter organized to head off to school. I'm thinking care packages are a good thing.

*Attempting to squeeze in a little reading time...see above.

So...what have you been doing so far this summer?!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Serenity Prayer

O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
- Reinhold Niebuhr

I find I keep coming back to this prayer over the last couple of months.


Because I'm a 'fixer'...I try to fix or make everything okay. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes, well...I'd be better off talking to a brick wall.

I've always been this way...the more I try to change that aspect of myself, the more I find myself 'fixing' things.

So, I'm working on the WISDOM part of the prayer because Lord knows I need to if I'm going to make it through the next months/years and then maybe the Serenity will follow.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

School's out...

for SUMMER!!!

And this is what I want to do!

Thursday, May 19, 2011



I'm taking some time to relax and enjoy the upcoming weekend's events. We have company coming in for the girl's high school graduation.

I've been running non-stop this week.

How can I be busier when I'm not working than when I am?

I have a beach vacation coming up to look forward to. Can't wait to sink my toes into the sand!!!

BTW - Last Friday was my last day keeping the twins. While I'm going to miss them tremendously, I'm am thankful that my time is my own again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Surviving, Pt. I

This post is going to ramble a bit as I try to make more sense of what has happened since last Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Though, I think it'll be easier if I just do bullets because I haven't been able to think straight since then.
  • As most of you know, I live in No. Alabama, near Harvest where the track of a now-labeled EF5 tornado wreaked havoc. This area wasn't covered as extensively as the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham area.
  • Wednesday started off rough...tornado sirens and weather radios going off at 4:30am.
  • Schools were delayed 2 hours, only to have it close at 12:15pm.
  • Tornado sirens went off at 11:45am, keeping students/teachers at school until after 2:00pm.
  • Huddled in our laundry room were me, my two teenagers and the twin toddlers that I watch, while the television blared in the master bedroom across the house.
  • Power was lost at 12 noon
  • All we could hear was the wind and the hail hitting the house.
  • The wind sounded like a VERY large truck rumbling toward the house.
  • Then SILENCE...
  • So very thankful that I kept my two home because the principal at the high school wasn't letting any of the students that home, so parents had to go pick them up.
  • My hubby made it home around 2:30pm after trying to navigate streets with downed trees and water, several inches deep, running across the low spots.
  • The twins mom was finally able to come get them around 3pm.
  • Nerves on edge
  • It all picked up again at 4pm and lasted until around 8pm.
  • Not sure when the tornado that created so much destruction in our area hit.
  • Went outside at ~8pm to survey the storm's fury.
  • Next door neighbor's yard was quite literally a lake.
  • Our driveway looked like a small stream with 4 inches of water flowing down into the street, which was full to the curbs.
  • Power was out, but we had no idea how bad the power situation was until the next day...
We are blessed that we have each other and roof over our heads.

More to come as it's very upsetting to think how close we came to losing everything and knowing that several our neighbors and friends just 4 miles north of us lost EVERYTHING.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Wishing you a blessed Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

22 years ago today, I married my best friend!

Still going strong...

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! It just keeps getting better and better. Here's to many more anniversaries.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Surviving a day of storms...

Wow! It's been quite a day here in the Rocket City.

Been storming since 5am!!! It finally let up about an hour ago.

Around 12:30, the Boy and I were watching a movie when we heard a hiss outside. After looking outside and not seeing anything, we decided that it was nothing. about 2:45p this afternoon, the kids and I were out on the patio and noticed this...

Apparently, the hiss we heard wasn't just nothing. We think lightning struck the grove of trees two doors over and knocked several large trees down and split several more. Very scary!!! The funny thing is that the family that lives in the house where these trees were knocked down didn't even notice the damage until it was pointed out to them. Thankfully, no one/property was injured/damaged. Though, there's going to be a lot of clean-up going on this weekend. Too bad none of us have wood-burning fireplaces.

The storm system that caused this damage is responsible for several tornadoes in Alabama, including one that struck near T-town. Hoping that all of the kids that went down for A-day this weekend are safe and sound. Thankfully, neither of my two were there. I'd be a nervous wreck.

Hope that things are quiet in your neck of the woods tonight and the rest of the weekend.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Won't Be Like This For Long...

I'm a big fan of Hootie and the Blowfish as well as Darius Rucker's solo stuff. So, I was quite surprised when I stumbled across this song last fall because it really hit home for me. I know that it may sound silly to some that a song can help one get through rough patches in their lives, but this one has sort of become an anthem (if you will) for me. To those who are closest to me will understand why. For those who aren't, just know that sometimes being a mom is the toughest job that you'll ever love...even if it drives you to the brink of insanity.

Without further ado...

Monday, March 28, 2011

I blinked and...

March is almost over.

Where has the time gone?

Oh, I know...we've been busy with life.

It was my intention to take a step back, slow things down and enjoy these last few months with my daughter before she heads off to college. Well, I have enjoyed every minute, but it's gone by way too fast! We are making a campus visit this coming weekend, then there are the events for the graduating seniors coming up and then and then.

Well, you get the idea.

To be quite honest, I don't think we're going to be able to slow down until maybe July...only to have it gather steam for the upcoming school year.

My head is spinning.

Even with all of the craziness, I'm having a blast!'s life in your neck of the woods?!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm ready to...

start digging in the dirt.

Only it's pouring down rain. So, I'll get my gardening/plant source mags and start making my wishlist. Can't wait to get out there and get dirty!!!

What are you going to do on this rainy Saturday?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So Sorry...

I've been a bit under the weather the last two weeks.

What started out as a cold turned into bronchitis. I think I'm on the mend, but I'm trying to take it easy because I really don't want to feel that bad again.

It is true what they say about chicken soup. I made a pot of homemade chicken soup the first weekend I was out of commission.

It's also really good when you add some rice and/or noodles to it, which I did for several lunches last week.

I'm really looking forward to feeling like myself and getting out to work in the yard because I think Spring is finally on her way in.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It keeps getting better...

Yesterday, my daughter received notification that she'd been awarded a 4 year tuition and books scholarship to Jacksonville State.

Our acceptance letter of the scholarship award was put in the mail yesterday afternoon!


***doing my Snoopy dance***

Monday, January 31, 2011

Big changes are coming and...

I'm not sure that I'm completely ready for them.

You husband and I are parents of a high school senior set to graduate on May 23, 2011. While I've known this time would come and have been dealing quite well with the progression of the school year, the one thing I thought I was ready for caught me by surprise.

What caught me by surprise? My reaction to my daughter receiving her acceptance letter to Jacksonville State University. I quite literally burst into tears when she opened the envelope and a JSU bumper sticker fell out. She didn't even have to read the letter...we knew that she'd been accepted. Then, she actually read the letter. C was running around the house, screaming and laughing and what am I doing??? Bawling my eyes out in the kitchen. As she's making the phone calls to Dad and all the grandparents, I'm speechless and even when I did try to speak, I burst into tears all over again. The whole time I'm thinking what's wrong with me...I should be laughing, screaming and running all over the house with my girl.

Don't get me wrong...I'm SOOOOO very excited for her and this new chapter in her life. I suppose it's a normal reaction. I just wasn't prepared for my reaction. Truthfully, I wasn't sure how I'd react. It's been a roller-coaster of emotions for me these last few days as I come to grips with the fact that my angel will be leaving home in 7 short months.

There is so much to do between now and then that I don't really know where to begin.

Suppose it's time to start my lists.

Bear with me these next several months as I document my family's adventures in preparing my eldest child for college.

Big changes are coming...

And I'm going to do my best to adapt to/with them.

Going out like it came in...

January, that is.

The New Year started off warm and rainy, so it seems fitting for it to end the same way.

Just hope that February, which will also start off warm and rainy, doesn't have the snow like January did.

I'm going to enjoy the day by reading and surfing the net.

Happy Monday!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do you remember where you were when...,

at 10:38am CST, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its mission?

I do...

As a senior, I was sitting in my Majority at 18 class at Burnsville Sr. High in Burnsville, MN. I remember a teacher coming into our classroom in tears...telling our teacher to turn on the television.

It's one of those events that forever stay with you. Like JFK and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations were for my parents and grandparents.

It's the reason that I hold my breathe and pray during each launch of a shuttle.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one event would shape my adult life. While I'm not working in the space industry, I am connected to it through my husband and his job. My husband works on the Internation Space Station Program, so we have an even more vested interest in the shuttle launches. That's what brought us to North Alabama in 1990. We've had the privilege of being VIP guests at KSC for the night launch of the first U.S. piece of the ISS in 1998. The shuttle program has been a vital part of the ISS program and I really hate to see them retire without a viable alternative in place.

May we always remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we may continue our space exploration.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Claire!!!

18 years ago at 12:52am on a cold, rainy Monday, Richard and I welcomed a beautiful 7 pound 3 ounce little girl into the world. She has blessed us in more ways than we can count.

You have grown into a beautiful, talented, intelligent young woman!

Happy Birthday, Angel (aka Claire)!!! We love you more than words can say!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting the year off with a bang...potentially

Don'tcha just love it when the weather people use 'Potential' in conjunction with major weather events.

I'm not sure what to think of the weather forecast for this upcoming weekend. While I love a good snow storm as much as the next person, I don't relish the thought of being snowbound for more than a day or two. I start to get cabin fever. It's for that very reason that I don't live where snow happens all the time. Been there...done that...don't want to do it again.

I can just imagine what the local school systems are close/cancel school or not. Unfortunately for us, our school system did not build in any weather days. So...any days we miss will have to be made up at the end of the year or on Saturdays. Looking at the forecast for next week, if we get any measurable snow, we could be out all week.

My kids are hoping for snow and lots of it. For them, I hope we get it.

Here's to lots of snow, snowmen, snowball fights and hot chocolate!!!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Be sure to eat lot of black-eyed peas and collard greens!!!